Grief In bonesSince the death of my fiancé and my daughters, grief has become part of who I am. Grief is as much a part of me as my red curly hair, blue eyes, and freckled skin. It lingers in the sound of my voice and the tears that fall from my eyes.

People typically don’t like to hear me say that. Our culture wants to look at grief as something that comes briefly and then vanishes back into nothingness. Those who haven’t experienced it’s depth and power want to make it something insignificant and small, a temporary blip on the path of life soon to be forgotten.

That is not what grief is.

Grief is a fire that has forged me into who I am and whose embers still smolder in my bones. It’s flames tore through my life and erased in smoke the person I was and the wife and mother I might have become.

Grief made me someone new. I am born of the heat and formed from the ashes. I will never be the same. In surrendering to the fire of grief, I was burned down to the very essence of myself.

Breath.
Bone.
Heart.

Humanness.

Grief is powerful and destructive. That is it’s very nature.

It will burn and shatter and consume the person that we were before the ones we loved so very much were taken from our arms.

Grief is part of me. It lives in my very bones.

But grief is not all of me.

For all of it’s power and destruction, grief cannot touch the essence of me. It cannot take my breath. My bone. My heart. My humanity.

It can never take my humanity, for humanity is love.

Love is the rain and tears that fall to bank down the fire.
Love is the air that cools the heat and clears the smoke.
Love is the earth, scorched and blackened, but never beaten by the flames.
Love is the life that sprouts and grows after the fire has blazed across the landscape.

Love is what overcomes the fire of grief.

Love for the one who was lost.
Love for the ones who remain breathing, living, standing.
Love for myself, the me forged in the heat of the flames and reborn of the ashes.

Yes, grief is part of who I am. It lives in the very bones of me.

So does love. Love is my very essence. Love is as much a part of me as the red curls on my head, the blue of my eyes, and the freckles on my skin. Love is the joy and the laughter and the lightness that bubble within me. Love is the ocean and river currents that sooth the embers burning in my bones.

I am grief and I am love in equal measure.

I was born of the ashes.
I bloom among the embers.

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