Beautiful Grief

Ok, you’re thinking that “Beautiful Grief” is an oxymoron. Those two words and their very concepts couldn’t be any more opposite.  Grief is messy. And angry. And negative. If anything, such profound sorrow takes us away from beautiful things.

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It wasn’t until I watched the movie Collateral Beauty that I realized grief is such a complex emotion, that it can involve a great many things, including beauty.

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The fact that we feel emotions as much as we do is in itself a thing of beauty. All of the things we feel co-exist in this magical, mixed up place in our emotional make up.

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I have experienced so much death in my life. Much more than most people I know. By the time I was 25 years old, I had lost all 4 grandparents and a step grandparent (most of those by the time I was 9), two uncles, family friends and my father. I have been to more funerals than weddings. More wakes than showers. I consider it a run of luck that I haven’t had anyone close to me die in several years. It’s something that has consumed me in the past and I have pitied myself for it. In recent years, that’s no longer the case. Losing a loved one sucks and losing my father was without a doubt the hardest thing I have ever had to go through. But I’m learning that being totally and utterly shattered happened because I loved so fiercely.

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I’m not one to quote movies, especially in a blog post, but this one from Collateral Beauty really rang out to me.

(Death)”Where there is no beginning and end… that love doesn’t have to stop when life ends because death is just a symbolic beginning – for the ones left behind to live and love life. That in death, there is love.
Time is a concept. There is no beginning, no end. We only feel time when we feel it in our bodies. Time is set to measure existence. But really, what is time? Real time is when you interact with the people you love to create an impact, to live a life full of love, not even death can conquer.
Love transcends time, and death. And in death, there is love. And in time, there’s no death – if we are filled with love with the people we love who loves us back, unconditionally… we are all connected.”

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12 years ago today, I lost my dad. I still think of him every single day of my life. I wear a ring of his daily and have some of his things around my home to remind me of him. I’m still angry that he was taken from me too soon and so unexpectedly, I’m still so hurt and sad that I sometimes feel physical pain – especially around this time of year. But I am so lucky to have had him in my life, even the short amount of time I had. It’s a terrible, delightful burden.

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10 thoughts on “Beautiful Grief

  1. So sorry you have so much grief to cope with. Glad you haven’t had to cope with new grief lately. One thing I have learnt is the grief is cumulative – a new grief makes old grief resurface. I like the quote – don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened – but in my experience that can take a while. Glad you are seeing the beauty. Thinking of you today.

    1. Thank you so much Johanna. I know grief is no stranger to you. Sometimes I feel like grief is a big, overflowing bucket… it takes more time than I ever could have imagined. I think I am a very emotional person in general, which doesn’t help things.

  2. This is such a beautifully written post, Kimmy. I’m so sorry you have had to experience so much loss. I can’t imagine how hard it is for you especially around this time of year. It’s amazing to see that even though you have gone through so much that you still have so much love and give so much support to everyone who is blessed to have you in their life. Thinking of you. (((hugs)))

    1. Wow – thank you Mary Ellen. That is a really nice thing to say – it really makes me feel better. I’m so lucky to have wonderful people in my life to remind me of the love I have to give <3

  3. Kimmy, I could totally relate to this post- I too have been to more funerals than weddings. I’ve experienced almost 10 deaths in the past 10 years, and they say that the average person experiences one every seven. The only thing that really helped me through all of that was reading “The Grief Recovery Handbook”, which helped me work through and learn how to deal with grief in a more positive and effective way. We are not taught to really deal with it- instead we are told to tuck it away and that time will heal, but unfortunately that’s a recipe for disaster and unresolved grief. Sorry to hear that you have gone through so much pain, and sending big hugs to you. I definitely have to watch this movie now.

    1. One every seven??? So that means we’re good for awhile right? I sure hope so.
      I tried reading some books about grief around the time my dad died, but none really resonated with me. Considering we are similar in so many ways (and sadly now in this too), I will check that book out. I feel like I’ve come a long way with my grief, but could always use more help with it. I think the reason it took me so very long to get in a better place with grief is because I felt as though people expected me to brush it off and move on. But that’s just impossible. It’s not how it works and I imagine most people who have actually experienced grief know this, but others don’t.
      Thank you for sharing this with me. *hugs* to you too.

  4. What a beautiful written view of grief. I had my own day of remembrance on the 16th of April. It has been 32 years since my mom passed and the first death I had ever experienced.

    Sending you love and hugs

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