I have spent a lot of time over the last few days thinking about grief, rolling it over in my head and heart while trying to figure out just how it feels.
For many, when one is experiencing grief, it naturally means they have suffered a loss. In this moment in my life, it is also reflective of a loss - a loss of two beautiful people who were taken far too soon. I've alternated between feeling anger, regret, sadness and gratitude. Gratitude may seem like a strange emotion in a moment such as this, but it comes from the privilege I had of knowing these two wonderful people and bearing witness to the incredible qualities they both possessed. They will be dearly missed by so many people whose lives they touched.
I have had many moments of quiet reflection and thinking about how life has the ability to turn on a dime and forever change you. Life also tends to take over and you lose track of making time...time to breathe in moments with people that hold a place in your heart, time to let people know about the impact they have had in your life, time to hold people a little bit closer.
In the past, grief has been quite subjective for me. It has depended on the circumstance because sometimes losing someone or something in my life has not been a bad thing. Other times, grief has been due to the loss of something that I cannot see or touch, the loss of the world I once believed in to be my own. So while I have grieved over loss, it has never been as tragic as this moment is for the family - my grief has most often allowed some room for hope, in this I am truly grateful.
Today, I have made a commitment to myself in this moment of grief. I am going to make time. As often as I can, I am going to let people in my life know that they are loved and integral to my being. I am going to ensure that I hold people close, even when life takes over. I won't be defeated in this grief, I will be inspired.
With this promise to myself in mind, this morning I went out of my way to completely inconvenience one of my closest and dearest friends, simply to put my arms around her. And while this gesture was simple and seemingly insignificant, I believe it's what we both needed, even if just for a moment. There are so many people whose hands I wish I could hold onto right now, people who I would love nothing more to do than throw my arms around their necks and hold them close. And while today might not be the day, it will come because I will make sure it does because this grief has encouraged me to give the best love that I can. Always.
I hope each of you can be inspired in this moment as well - to love a little more fiercely, to stand outside in the rain, to be a voice for those in need, to hold your people a bit closer, to support others as they deal with their grief.
And for today, I am going to make time for gratitude and grace and let the laundry sit for another day.