I am no stranger to Grief; she and I are old friends. Within just a few short years, I lost a sibling, my daughter, experienced two miscarriages, lost an aunt, my biological mother, and my father in law. My relationship with Grief is a complicated one. I keep trying to break up with her, but she just won’t go away. Secretly, I don’t want her to. She is very much a part of who I am. I hold my Grief deep within a sacred part of my heart.
Grief, she is my mistress. An intimate part of my life, but something I try to hide away so not to upset anyone. I love Grief, but I feel guilty when I spend time with her, and am ashamed to do so in front of others. The relationship we have is complex, and very personal.
Who am I without Grief? My losses define so much of who I am today. I am not the same woman I was before I birthed and lost my babies. I wouldn’t want to be. I would never voluntarily go through such a horrific, soul shattering event like the loss of a baby, but I managed to find peace amongst the heartbreak. As the fog started to clear, my life took on a new purpose, and for that, I’m thankful.
Grief is a persistent entity that lives within us. It is always changing; growing into something new and different as soon as we have any semblance of how we feel, and where we are in the process. It is trauma, pain, life changing; but there also is a beauty in Grief. Amongst the chaos of heartbreak, grace can be found. Joy can co-exist with agony. Feeling one does not mean the other does not exist. You just learn to live your life in a dichotomy of emotion.
I’ve learned to be okay with the waves of sorrow. I’ve also learned to be okay with being happy. Grief is a part of me, a part of my every day life. But it does not define me. It is an honoured, special part of my heart, that is a sacred part of who I am.
Charlene Chambers Nguyen