I looked at grief as such a burden for so long. It’s heavy, messy, painful, and such an exhausting journey to walk through. I often wished I could finish grieving and walk away from all the turmoil it brought into my life. But as I rambled on in counseling one day, I had a moment that completely changed my perspective. I realized that I grieve this intensely because of the immeasurable amount of love I carry in my heart for Aria.
This brings me back to a memory from my childhood. One day, I lost a much loved stuffed bunny rabbit named “Benny.” I was so upset. I slept with him every night and didn’t know what I was going to do without him. However, this version of grief only lasted for a brief amount of time before I was ready to move on from Benny.
You see, this was the grief I thought wanted after losing Aria. I wanted it to stop hurting. I wanted it to stop infiltrating every single part of my life and altering it forever. I didn’t want to carry this pain every day for the rest of my life.
But the truth is, the only way to end grief is to end the love that caused it in the first place. But when you have lost a loved one, that is something you simply cannot do. This kind of grief cannot be cured. I grieve this hard because I miss my sweet little girl with every ounce of my being. It is because I love her, I miss her, and I want her to be here.
So somehow, I have started to view this grief as a privilege. I grieve because I love her. My heart aches this much because I am the only person in this world who was given the great honor of being her mother. I carry this grief because I once carried her.
And the strange thing is that once I stopped constantly viewing my grief as a burden, there were many times it stopped feeling like one. As the tears would well up in my eyes throughout the day I would think, “This is because I love her.” And that made it all worth it.
It has taken so much time and work to find myself here, and it is an understanding of grief I never thought I would have. Even though I know it will always be present in my life, I am grateful that it is ever changing. Yes, I will always wish that she were still by my side, and that I never had to walk this journey with grief in the first place. Yet, I am learning to embrace this grief, and somehow thrive within it.