Grief is Fickle

September 22, 2021

The text came through and the first sentence read “Grief is fickle.” My attention was immediately captivated by the unique message and the emotional outpouring that followed. As I continued reading through tears, my mind kept silently repeating, “Grief is fickle.” 

I’ve written about grief for years but I have never used, nor thought of using that word. Fickle, it’s the kind of word that hits you immediately, not just for it’s incisive structure, but also because you don’t hear it often. A small word with big meaning and purpose. She was right, my sister, the one who sent the text, the one unloading her longing and pain in front of me. Grief is fickle. 

If fickle is changing frequently, instability, and unpredictability, then that is exactly what grief is. Grief is fickle. 

It’s undeniable and unpredictable.

It’s constantly changing and constantly visible.

It’s unstable emotions with unstable futures.

It’s having a mind that shifts between joyful reminiscence and heartbreaking finalities.

It’s having a soul that shifts between gratitude for what was and regret for what will never be.

It’s having a heart that shifts between love and loss, grace and grief, and heartbreak and healing. 

Grief is fickle, but it’s not the only one. You see, heart’s are fickle too. Souls are fickle. Life itself is fickle. Each of these things are constantly changing, shifting, and in a continuous state of becoming. Each of these things are unpredictable and unstable, for their path holds outside forces of power and influence. The whole world is fragile and fickle, we simply are too busy to truly grasp that truth. 

Many many things are fickle. Have you noticed? The things that are here one day and gone the next? The things that are constantly changing in intensity and visibility. The things that are unreliable and constantly teetering between conflicting truths. Many many things are fickle.

Great love, however, is not fickle. It’s a constant and remains steadfast always. So, while grief is fickle, and life itself is fickle, and dozens of life’s inclusions are also fickle, I’m content knowing that love isn’t one of those things.

And as I compose myself and glance back at the text on my screen, I reply: “Sis, please remember, while grief is fickle–changing, shifting, inconsistent and unfaithful, remember that love isn’t. Our precious mother’s love is unwavering, undeniable and boldly constant, even from her eternity. Grief may be fickle, but love will never be.” 

xox, Chels

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Chelsea Ohlemiller

Chelsea Ohlemiller

A thirty-something 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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