They say death comes in threes and for her it’s true. She sits, paralyzed by another death, another loss, another incomprehensible piece of her story erased before she was ready and before she even had time to comprehend the ones before.
She wonders how to continue stepping foot into each new day with all of the heartache of the grief and all of the fear of the unknowns. She wonders how she got here, hurting this deeply, so young, still naive to the world’s harsh capabilities.
She thinks of her friends, the ones that haven’t experienced profound loss, which she now realizes is all of them. They still have grandparents, some even great grandparents, and here she is having lost one of the solid foundations to her family and two other special people. Losses multiplied and compiled within months of each other, an addition of pain and a subtraction of those that remain. It feels wrong in a way that she cannot express to anyone around her.
It feels like a pain that she will not survive.
Lucky for her, she is surrounded by a support system that feels as sturdy as steel. She knows she has people to lean on when she feels herself falling. She knows she has people to help her up when she has fallen to her knees in unbearable and invisible pain. She knows not everyone gets this luxury, which is where the small sliver of hope that she carries comes from. When she is ready, she knows she has people to help her pick up the pieces that remain, no matter how broken or shattered they are. She has help.
She realizes that she holds more grief than she knew existed and a unique pain that no one truly prepared her for– though she wonders if this is preparable. Can you comprehend something of this magnitude if you’ve never lived it? Can you imagine something when you’ve never felt its sting or its destruction? She doesn’t think so.
She takes deep breaths. She tries to soak up the truth that surrounds her. She realizes that she cannot bring people back, and as harsh as this grief is, she doesn’t want to be lost too. She wants to live a beautiful life, even if it will be filled with missing pieces and empty spaces.
She uses this moment to remind herself that her control of life is limited but she has the ability to control her strength, her resiliency, and her continuation. She has the ability to keep adding to her story, and wouldn’t they all want her to? They would, she’s sure of it.
So she stands up knowing that there will be tough days. She walks forward knowing there will be absences in each of life’s events to follow. She steps ahead knowing it will be hard and full of so many contradictory emotions– joy and sorrow, fear and faith, mourning and celebration. But that’s life, isn’t it? A delicate blend of all things, happy and harsh.
She still feels insurmountable ache from a grief that is hard to hold, but she knows it’s because she was blessed with priceless relationships and endless influence. And that’s the powerful perspective shift she needed– the endless part. The part that reminds her that some things cannot be lost. Some things cannot be taken or defeated by death.
And love, and memories, and influence, are some of those things.
So she not only stands up to survive this life, she stands up to live it.
And live it she will.
For them, for her, for everyone left that loves her, and even those that will love her later down the road.
Grief might weigh her down momentarily but it will not defeat her.
Grief will not win. She will.
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.