Grief can visit us for so many reasons and comes in so many forms and its journey is not a linear one.
I have grieved deeply for my health. The way in which my health has challenged me to grieve its change and its fragility has been an intense ride.
Everything crumbled and I had to learn to depart from the way I had defined myself based on my career, my financial status and potential, my role within society, as a mother, partner, daughter and friend.
I was left with the label of the sick person. When I was in a wheelchair with a PICC line poking out from beneath the bandage on my upper arm, this label seemed to suit. In fact, the presence of a physical failing made my illness tangible to me and to those that witnessed me from within and outside of my inner circle. But when I was able to get out of that wheelchair the hardest part has been the invisible parts of my health.
‘Your glowing, you look so good’ is what I am always met with. On one hand it felt so good to feel that all the hard work I had put into my health was paying off and on the other hand I knew that the way I looked on the outside was not how I truly felt, but rather was and still is a reflection of my resilience and determination.
As much as the change and fragility of my health has stripped me bare and left me naked in an unknown place. It has also taught me how to be ok within the unknown without a need to make my way through it from the known of who I was. But rather to be present to create what I am now within the unknown without having to attach a definition of being less or limited. I just am.
My journey of grieving my health has led me to a deeper understanding of myself and continuously calls me into awareness to just be me as I am right now. It continues to remind me that I don’t need to be what I was, that I am safe to further and deepen my acceptance of who I am, what I can do, who I can be, without definition. That the unfolding of an innate expression of who I am right now and who I will be in the future is prefect.
Part of my grief process has involved writing to it. This is what I wrote...
“Like a low, slow note being bowed on the double bass, my heart swirled with our laughter, our sadness, our fights, our love, our dreams.
It took time after you said goodbye. But, laughter, sadness, fights, love, dreams began to seep back into my heart, expanding the vacancy. Eventually they began to flood, and then they gushed to unexplored deeper sections of my heart.
But the familiar, albeit faint, resonance of our past note remained. Which made it hard sometimes not to romanticise, to hold on.
But our past note became more and more distant and now it is so faint that the last familiar echoes of us has collapsed into ashes, the same way the earthly body that was did.
Laughter, sadness, fights, love and dreams play and echo an evolved resonance now. One of a deeper, slower bowed bass note. A note that is alive and pulsing in this present moment. That lovingly vibrates and speaks to my inner and outer world of my present and future self.
A note that now blows away the remaining ash.
From heart to yours