More than the Heart, More than the Soul, Grief Changes Everything

May 27, 2021

My mind has never truly failed me. Sure I’ve forgotten things and gotten answers wrong but it’s never truly let me down or failed me, until the death of my mother. 

When unconscionable grief entered my life it was as if my mind was no longer cooperating. No longer sound or correct or in proper function. It was absolutely no help to my broken heart and shattered soul. 

Now was not the time to fail me, yet there it was useless. It wasn’t explaining or making sense of the realities surrounding me. In all truthfulness, it wasn’t even comprehending them. It was there, stuck, paused, and confused. 

It couldn’t change the truth so it stopped making sense of it. Like somehow my brain was as tangled and deconstructed as the rest of me. No one explained this part of grief to me. No one explained that your mind would cohesively trick you, confuse you, protect you and defend you, even if it made no sense. Even if it made grief harder and more complex. 

I knew grief came with heartbreak and messiness. I knew it came with inconceivable transformations. I didn’t know that included my brain and thoughts and mind and thinking. Hearts break, sure, but aren’t our minds the constant knowing in which things continue, in which things are scientifically crafted to make sense of it all? To be our guide and our trusted mentor? 

Grief made my brain cloudy. 

It made my mind tangled in between reality and hopeless hopes and wishes. 

It made me forget she was gone and never forget her death all at the same time. 

It made my thoughts haunted by what was and broken for what was supposed to be. 

It made my mind a chaotic mess of conflicting emotions and feelings. 

Grief made my brain fail me.

It failed to provide answers.

It failed to provide reasons. 

It failed to provide comfort or hope or understanding. 

It failed to make sense of loss. 

It failed to explain grief and mourning. 

It failed to remind me to breathe and ensure I got out of bed. 

It failed me for so much of the beginnings of grief and the journey through loss. 

No one told me I’d feel like a kid.

No one told me my mind would try to make me forget while also ensuring I never do. 

No one told me the mind can turn into a magician, an artist and a deceiver.

No one explained this part of grief to me. 

So I’m telling you so it doesn’t come as a surprise. Grief will break your heart and shatter your soul and transform your mind. It boldly touches each piece of your life and each space that occupies your body. 

Looking back now I can see that it wasn’t a total failure but rather the biggest and most courageous act to protect me from the harshest reality that life hands out, losing someone you love. 

Be prepared, grief changes more than the heart and more than the soul, it changes everything.

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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