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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.