The Young Widow - Change
7 June 2012
Change is a part of life. We start changing from the minute that we are created. In my personal experience with change in my life, I would dare to say that nothing impacts change like the threat of death and the actual loss of a life (grief). It causes extreme change and it is immediate which can be very dangerous. I would think that with all the years of training I had with changes through out my own life, I would have been better equipped to handle such changes. Death changes everything and blasts thru all the rules. I am not sure that anything can prepare anyone for it.
The threat of death causes immediate change. Whether the threat be to you directly or to someone you love, it changes everything and everyone around you. It pours buckets of ice cold perspective over you until you are submerged. One either goes into shock and becomes motionless under the weight of the denial, trapped for the time being in and endless loop of 'this can't be', or they are driven to the opposite extreme, to take action. They say the unsaid and do the undone. Life is short they say but no one has perspective on how short. Given the opportunity to get a clear understanding of how short life really is, one is forced to react. Either reaction, when taking to the extreme, can become a huge risk. Extreme denial can cause you to die before your death. Regrets of wasting what few precious moments you were given would loom over you and nag at you during your last moments. For those who react this way but are the ones to be left behind, they can find themselves mourning before the death and the same time slips away from them causing the same regretful reaction.
Those who take action to the extreme present different risks. I have seen some sell everything, become big risk takers since they will die anyway, and say everything to everyone without fear of consequence. While a lot of this action can be good, there are somethings that are not. The prediction of death is not an exact science after all. Selling everything then receiving a miracle of more time can leave you penniless and struggling. Burned bridges can leave you without support. There is, however, very little risk for the loved one left behind. Usually, they are extreme in the amount of quality time they spend, the memories they make, and the amount of photographic evidence they take. Life is defined not by achievements but by the memories left behind.
Change from grief has both immediate and long term affects. For those who are lucky enough to make it out of the dark stages of grief, it has a ombre affect. We are forever tainted. The colors can't be washed away but there can be beauty. Our gradient color can attract many positive things and even at our darkest, I have seen that others can be impacted by knowing us and caring comes back. Our extremes are just as risky. There are some of us who die with our loved ones and just wait here in our shells until we can be reunited. There are some of us who wilt during the wait and plan for or attempt forcing the time to end. Unfortunately some of us are successful. If you are wilting and wondering, I say to you that this is not the way. I believe that going before your time will jeopardize your goal. It is hard but stay the coarse. In a time when you want to die for your loved one and you can not live for yourself, try to find joy in living for others. The greater good is healing and if you do not like people there are always animals.
Then there is the extreme of forcing the healing and continuation of life. Those that feel they must move on and so they do. They take up new families because its been a socially acceptable amount of time and they feel they have to. The consequences include another layer of unhappiness among other things.
I like to live my life away from the extremes. Like water, I like the ebb and flow. I follow the natural flow of life. I stir and crash during a storm and I am motionless and calm when necessary but most of the time I am in motion. I can enjoy the beauty of a sand castle even tho I know the tide will have to come in some time. I hide a lot of life, stories, and colors. Like the world oceans, I like to spread myself around. To be extreme could cause my world to collapse around me. The parts of me deprived of water would suffer and wilt.
This hub has inspired by an online friend. In one of her comments to The Young Widow - 6 Months, she made me realize that grief is more like a metamorphosis. Those of us that have been given the unique path to grieve for many years of our lives are given a perspective that is unmatched. Many of these people go on to impact the masses in ways that no one else could. Some become famous for it, others prefer to be a story in the hearts of a few. The burden is heavy and we are driven to the brink but purpose and meaning can come out of it. Purposes can be found. Answers may never come and the void will always exist but in that void you can fit some of the joy and satisfaction that comes from your new path. The ones that come from the things you have done while inspired by the love that was lost fit perfectly in that void. The heart has the ability to produce love like the air that surrounds us. Our hearts are not pies that can be cut and distributed until it is consumed. Their is always room for more without taking from or replacing the amount dedicated to the loved one you lost. My husband spent the 9 months before he died teaching me this thru the loss of one of our dog children. He was preparing me for what neither of us could have known. Perhaps I will tell you about Taz one day.
Change. Those who grieve can feel encased in darkness, extremely alone, and separate from the world around us. It is our cocoon. It can take a lot of time and is not an easy place to be but without a cocoon there would be no butterfly. While the life that we knew is gone and the first flight is scary, our changed life can be beautiful and the scars from our grief can decorate wings.