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Finding Moments of Peace Within a Grieving Heart

At times it seems like the negative thoughts and sadness are taking a toll on me, and I start to wonder if my mind and heart will ever find peace. Suddenly, I finally find an unknown source of inner calm. I relax into it and just let myself “be.” Be in that moment of time where nothing can touch me, where I can forget for just that moment…

I appreciate these rare moments of peace in my shattered mind and body. I treat them as a time of meditation, stillness within myself. A replenishing, I suppose. I have learned to take full advantage when they arrive. These moments have taught me the true meaning of being grateful for all I have, and I am learning how to be aware, truly aware of the world around me and the spirit within me.

The reality is that even in moments of peace — noticing the beauty in my surroundings, the sky, a flower, another grandchild’s laugh — something is amiss. My new extreme emotional sensitivity makes it difficult to determine whether I’m feeling true joy, the overwhelming emotion of what I’m experiencing at that very moment or the underlying heartache that is ever-present. The picture gets blurred. Even beauty makes me weep.

There is a quote from a book that states, “Grief does not change you, it reveals you.” Truth. I am an emotionally fragile woman seeking peace and spirituality to calm my restless soul. Perhaps I was always this person, hidden behind the masks I wore. Always trying to please someone, trying to be funny. It was my facade waiting to reveal my true self. This new me is not so bad, just more sensitive, emotional and definitely scared. Scared that something will happen to another loved one. I know I can’t live my life in fear, but this is what happens after such a tragic loss, especially the loss of a child. I suspect grievers battle between remembering and forgetting.

I could never forget that Konnor came into this world. It is because of him that I begin to cry when I look at a glorious sunset on the lake that he will never see. It is him that I think about every time I see something so beautiful that it moves me or hear a song so sweet that I am moved to tears. To forget Konnor would be to dishonor him. To not remember that this sweet soul ever graced my life would destroy all that he was. Yet, in my stillness of peace, he is up there in the Heavens and somehow I feel him watching me. I breathe a little lighter still knowing this.

Again, remembering brings forth waves of grief. I will never see, hear or touch him again. It is not just the reality of his death, he had not yet begun to live. I struggle to remember the happy times. They were plenty, of course. I am simply too broken to be able to laugh about them yet. It is the tragedy of his short life I continue to grieve. I know he was a happy kid, he was simply taken too soon.

So when I find a moment of peace, I breathe in and I breathe out. I raise my face to the sun; I feel its heat. I am without a thought in my mind. I feel the wind and listen to the trees rustling in the breeze. I feel my heart beating. I am going to be all right.

Moments of peace are not often provided for us. We have to make them for ourselves. Even when it seems like it’s impossible, we must make time for ourselves to find space to breathe, regroup and feel somewhat rested again.

Notice I did not say “normal” or “whole.” The reality of my new normal is without my loved one, I will never truly feel whole like I once did, yet I can come close. I have to ask myself, are these moments of peace just a rest period for my mind and soul only to fight another day? In a griever’s life, yes. Fighting against grief takes energy and strength, and for this we need to have periods of rest.

For that reason, take your peaceful time when you can get it. Sleep, read, do what feeds your soul. Take a deep breath, count your blessings and know that your loved one is looking down on you, too.

You know, I bet they are thinking their view from Heaven is just as beautiful.

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Thinkstock image by Nadezhda1906