Grief and resilience live together.
In the last few weeks several dear SMA friends have lost their incredible children. Families who helped us face SMA when we were so broken, families who we have helped. And they have been heavily on my heart. Yesterday I attended the funeral of another dear friend who died unexpectedly. He was only 44 and has two young children. As I watched the room of mourners and reflected on what to say to his beautiful wife, I thought of this year of global grief and so many who suddenly find themselves beginning a new journey they never wanted to travel. And I marveled at the grieving process itself.
The hardest thing about grief when you are directly impacted is only you can walk your journey.
Our bodies know it will be difficult before the trudging even begins – we go into shock, our senses heighten, we get overwhelmed and over stimulated while our minds fog.
Those who love us surround us, offer to help, try to take tasks off our plate… and we need you.
The hardest thing about grief for those supporting us is you must witness your loved ones in deep pain, and there’s nothing you can really do.
You can offer comfort and a safe place to wail. Hot meals and warm arms. Listen and hold space. Allow for every emotion without judgement or the urge to fix. But you cannot walk the journey of grief for us.
After the funeral is over, after the visitors have gone home, it gets awfully quiet for mourners. Everything is so new in this next place where we don’t always know what we need. It’s disorienting and scary. And it hurts so damn much to begin living without the one we love.
And, yet, time and time again, we are brave enough to try. To journey into the dark with brokenness, trauma, sorrow, pain… with surrender and hope, trusting life to unfold through us.
And, if we are lucky, we have the continued support from those brave enough to sit in the discomfort, willing to be vulnerable and fallible with us.
And all of it is remarkable.
And uniquely human.
And one of the most beautiful opportunities to experience tender, resilient humanness.
NEVER GIVE UP.