Grief Shatters

April 9, 2020

I am different. Completely different than before. 

There are two versions of myself. One when my mother was alive and one after she passed. The two are joined, and related, but they are completely different beings. 

They house some of the same traits and characteristics, but as an entirety, they are completely separate. 

For the longest time, I couldn’t figure out why I no longer fit in parts of my life. The life I had created for myself. The life I loved. I couldn’t figure out why some of my relationships, projects, aspirations, and priorities no longer made sense. Some no longer mattered. Some became uncomfortable and some faded. 

My mother died and things changed. 

I was different. Life was different.

Grief shatters.

Grief takes a person and bursts them into pieces. Exposing them, recreating them, and forcing them to transform. The person that stood before grief came, is not the person that stands once grief has entered. Evenmore, the person that rises from the shattered pieces, is an even different person than the two before. 

Once I realized the brokenness of grief, 

the transformation of grief,

the healing…the journey…the recreation…

I stopped running from grief and the changes caused by it. 

I took a good look in the mirror and the woman that stood there. Staring past the pain and into the future. I stopped chasing the girl I was before my mother passed, and started comprehending the beauty in the painful transformation. 

I learned to appreciate the new woman that had emerged.

Sure, she is different, but she is mighty and bold and resilient. 

She took the most immense pain of her life and she turned it into a project for betterment. 

Grief shatters. It breaks. It busts. It manipulates and molds. It shapes and it contours. It changes the makeup of our soul and the contents of our heart. It transforms people in ways that are both excruitating and also monumental. 

Once I acknowledged grief’s transformation, I stopped searching for the girl I once was. The one that had a mother. I stopped searching for the girl with the mom and the memories, for she no longer existed. Instead, I started respecting the girl who survived losing her mother. I started appreciating the grit in her growth and the resilience in her heart. 

Grief provides seasons of transformation. First into darkness, and then into light. First into despair, and then into repair. It will break you. It will steal your breath and parts of your future, but then it will make you new and pave a new path.

One day you’ll wake up feeling less broken, but still bruised. You’ll wake up and feel nothing like you used to, and it will be confusing and beautiful and crafted by love.

Grief shatters. Love, time, and patience rebuild. 

Be patient, your reconstruction will come.

xox, Chels

8 comments so far.

8 responses to “Grief Shatters”

  1. Madison says:

    I don’t think you understand how much I needed this. Thank you so much.

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Madison, thank you so much for reading my work and taking the time to write a kind message. We are in this together. I pray you continue to find comfort and encouragement on my page. xox, Chels

  2. Roxanne McDaniel says:

    I Lost My Precious Mother three short years ago. The biggest LOSS I have ever experienced. 💔 These Words are so very close to my true feelings as to my own loss. Thank You,

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Roxanne, you are not alone in these feelings. It is such a complex and difficult experience. Lifting you in hope, comfort and peace as you continue this grief journey. xox, Chels

  3. Michelle says:

    I’ll read this over and over. It’s only been 4 months. I’m still very much focused on being broken…. My heart shattered.
    It still feels unreal that my mom is gone. I’m scared to accept it…. Cause then it becomes truth and reality.

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Michelle, I feel this so so deeply. You are not alone. Thank you so much for reading my heart’s work. Lifting you in comfort and love from afar. xox, Chels

  4. Shenise K. says:

    Perfectly put…before and after death…I keep trying to explain this but the words escape me. Than you for this.

  5. Mary Roberts says:

    If ever something was written that encapsulates my feelings, this is it. I’ve only just come across this piece, but the day it was posted 9 April 2020 was the day I buried my mum (she died on 25 March 2020). Had I read it then I wouldn’t have understood, but now nearly 3 years on I am living it.
    Thank you for the gift of your words, I’m just sorry you had to also experience such a loss.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



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.

Let’s connect: