The Gift of Grief

“I get knocked down, I get back up again, You’re never gonna keep me down…”, Chumbawumba…

We’ve all lost people we love (or will, especially at our age 😉). I won’t mention the pandemic this time, who needs to? Each daily statistic represents someone’s personal grief. People are people, we live, we love, we die. Sometimes too soon, whatever that means – my grandmother died in her mid-nineties and it felt too soon. But you know what I mean.

To feel grief, that hollow, howling emptiness; nothing else more fully defines humanity to me than grief. The physical punch of it. The ache and throb of it. The rage, the helpless acceptance.

Acceptance of grief? It seems impossible that we must suffer such a feeling, but that is a secret power of grief – that it never goes away, and we learn to live with it. We must, what choice is there?

The power of grief? I prefer to think of it as the gift of grief. We must endure it, so it steels us, empowering us. How bad can regular annoyances of life seem if we can endure the death of a loved one? It’s a lifetime gift – we become consolers ourselves to others as they learn to accept their own gifts of grief. The sharing of the human experience ties us together despite other superficial differences we may have. Grief knows no nationality, no one has a monopoly on it. This gift of insight, slight but bright, into the human condition, is one to carry into other facets of life. We accept and we carry on. We learn to laugh and enjoy again. But we always suffer the grief; it will ebb and flow throughout our lives forevermore. So back to my own grief. I won’t list the people I’ve loved and lost – those close to me know – but I want to thank those who’ve gone before me for their gifts, given by grief. Thank you – I’ll never forget you.

5 thoughts on “The Gift of Grief

  1. I was just now thinking about my family……Dad , Mom, Big sister Fern, another sister Joy, all gone…….. I know how it feels to be an orphan…….I don’t like it but I have learned to live with it and I have my memories which I can now share with my grandkids…… Yes, life does go on but jeez-Louise does it have to hurt so bad?

  2. Having recently lost my best friend, this touched me deeply. She was just too young and never sick a day in her life. Indeed was a gift having her in my life for so many years. Such a shock to everyone . Thanks again for this great article my friend !

  3. Thanks Stevie for that message. I’ve dealt with grief for more years than I wanted. First my mom, who died at the tender age of 51 from heart disease. My dad, passed from diabetic complications at 78 and my brother did not make his 57th birthday. I’ve learned to cope with my losses, but like you said you are always thinking of them. More of a gift then a loss. My wife, has both of her parents still alive in their 90’s and vibrant. She is just Beginning to recognize their vulnerabilities. So I’ve been helping her with that. But thanks for posting your views on grief. It was awesome.

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