Carrying a Heavy Load: Grief & Love

December 16, 2022

He hasn’t found love yet in his life. He’s known brief infatuation and fleeting sparks of adoration but he hasn’t found that life-changing, ‘bend down on one knee’ type of love. And as he sits here talking about the person he hopes to one day find, he says, “I doubt I can find anyone that would want me now….I carry a heavy load of grief.”

He’s speaking of the loss of his mother and I can feel the hopelessness of his words as if they are my own. I know the immense weight of grief, I carry it too. And before meeting my husband, I knew the loneliness of single-life and the search for a life partner. Without even thinking, or planning my response, I say: “Your ‘heavy load’ is proof that you love well and hard, remember that!” 

We both sit motionless from the truth that is held in the words I’ve just let slip from my mouth. I take a couple of deep breaths and I continue…

“Your grief is unavoidable and harsh. I know because I live with it too. But I also live with the delicate offerings of grief that make me a better person, and you do too. 

Because of grief you love bolder than ever before. You don’t take love for granted and it will be easier to identify when it comes. Grief shows us the ambitious power of love and that will be a beautiful gift to the person that you fall in love with. 

Because of grief you appreciate time and the way it’s constantly slipping through our fingers. You appreciate each and every moment, even the hard ones, and you carefully choose how you spend the time you have. It will be the most meaningful gift you can give someone– giving them your time is the same thing as giving them your life. 

Because of grief you hold compassion and empathy as superpowers. You have a kind heart and a giving spirit because you’ve experienced the sting of loss, which makes you an amazing partner right from the start. 

Because of grief you know…

To be patient with everyone you meet and pass.

To tell people you love them as much and as often as possible.

To live with intentionality and purpose.

To remain humble and grateful and observant.

To appreciate the brokenness and messiness of others. 

To love passionately and without the fear that it will one day change.

And more importantly than what grief has taught you is how it has shaped you. It’s shaped you into a person who can hold loss and still hold hope. It’s shaped you into a person who can lose the love of unforgettable people and still search for love in new places. It’s shaped you into a person who loves well, loves often, and loves unconditionally. You’re more of a catch now than you’ve ever been.”

Tears flow from his eyes and from mine. We both know that it’s true and that I wholeheartedly mean every single word. 

Grief isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s not a burden. Grief isn’t a red flag for a relationship, it’s a delicate and intricate bow that says– I love beautifully and bravely and fearlessly. 

Remember that, friends. Please, remember that. 

xox, Chels

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One response to “Carrying a Heavy Load: Grief & Love”

  1. Ana Jennings says:

    Wow, Chels I feel such a connection that I didn’t alow myself to feel since my mom’s passing in 2011, after which I was diagnosed with breast cancer 2012 and then lost my older brother that same year. Never mind what life was throwing at me. Enough to shake anyones faith.
    And yes it has made me stronger and a better ‘catch’ as it teaches you to focus on BEING the one instead of FINDING the one, heavy load and all. People will say I am wise, I just say, I’m old… been there, done that amd so ready to move on and let love in again. I count you as a true friend to so many. Thank you.

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Chelsea Ohlemiller

Chelsea Ohlemiller

A wife, mother and educator who has Indiana roots and a passionate spirit. Chelsea is a sappy romantic, coffee junkie, book collector, and person who wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s sarcastic, full of jokes, full of tears, and enjoys writing most when life gets messy or complicated. In 2017, Chelsea's mother passed away. Through her grief journey, she decided to take her mother’s advice and share her writing with the world. One day she gained the courage to honor her mother's wishes and write. It turned out to be one of the best decisions she's ever made.

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