Some of the ways grief has changed me or revealed me….
They say grief doesn’t change you, it reveals you. Hmmm, that’s a bit sobering. I’ve thought about this some and I think I would have to say it does both. It changes you and it reveals you. Maybe they are really not that different.
I have taken my rose colored glasses off:
When someone close to you dies, like a spouse or a child, you actually don’t take the rose colored glasses off, they are shattered. No more thinking that bad things won’t happen to you. Even if bad things had happened to you before the death…well, there’s just something about death. I’ve always been a pretty upbeat, positive person. I still am, but with caution now, and no glasses.
I am much more compassionate:
I never gave much thought to the suffering of others. I don’t mean that I didn’t care for people or that I didn’t feel sad when they suffered loss. It’s just that I really didn’t understand what they were going through. I figured they would be sad for a little while and it would pass. I now know that you never really get over tragedy, you just get better at living with it. My heart literally breaks when I hear of tragedy now. Watching the news is something I avoid. When the kids and I hear of a tragedy in our town or of someone we know it’s like a gut punch. I wish no one ever had to hurt again.
I am more emotional:
I do believe I have cried through most episodes of Little House on the Prairie :-). That being said, I do think I was pretty stable emotionally. The old me very rarely acted out of emotion. I was rational and calm. But now I’m no longer in control. I feel sad on days when it’s really not convenient. I cry in public which is something I would have NEVER done before. A common question around my house now is “are you crying mom?”
I am much more vulnerable:
If you had met me 2 years ago you would have met a confident, happy person. It took a lot to hurt my feelings or offend me. I very rarely got angry, and it took a lot to get me down. Now I feel completely dependent on friends and family to be there for me and fear someday they won’t be. Now, even the smallest of circumstances can derail my whole day. Fear, instead of confidence, has become a familiar companion.
I do appreciate the positive things in my life:
I do think I have always appreciated and been grateful for things in my life, just not in the same way.. I really do have a good life. I have a loving family and amazing kids, and wonderful friends. What has changed is the depth to which I appreciate it all. I treasure the things in my life that I have left, because I now know how easy it is to lose it all. In the blink of an eye, or the decision of another driver, your whole life can be shattered.
I am a better mother:
Well, I hope I am. I feel a lot less confident in my parenting but somehow that has created a better relationship between my kids and I. They have had to grow up fast, and I have had to let them. We are all learning and growing together. I appreciate them in ways I never would have before. Suffering has a way of leveling the playing field, even in families.
My faith is different:
it’s real. Yeah, it was real before, but now if really feels real. It has been tested. I have doubted it and questioned it and it has been found to be true. I have made some whopper mistakes and I’m so thankful that even in my darkest moments He has been faithful and true.
So while I’m still not sure what has changed and what has been revealed or if there is even a difference, I do know that I am not the same. There’s no turning back, only looking forward. What I do know is the goal has never changed..before and now…..”Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy him forever” (Westminster Catechism)
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