Showing Up Differently After Grief

January 13, 2022

Grief will come and it will cause you to show up differently for the world around you. At first you show up messy and shattered. You show up hurting and full of longing. You show up wishing things were different and also knowing that they can’t be.

Grief will come and you will show up different to those around you. You will show up emotional and overwhelmed. You will show up angry and confused. You will show up unfamiliar to this new space you’ve found, a space that no longer includes someone you love. 

Grief causes you to show up differently. You show up differently to the store, to work, to church, into every event you attend. You show up differently because you are different. You are no longer the person you once were. Grief has given you a new before and after. 

Grief causes you to show up differently because suddenly everything seems foreign and unfamiliar. You show up differently because you feel as if you’re walking on rocky ground, unable to find your footing, unable to stand without support and even then it feels nearly impossible.

Grief causes you to show up differently and for a long time it seems that the different is an awful kind of different. It seems that you are now a shell of a person, one who is hopeless and full of fear. It seems you are a person who holds so much more of a burden than of beauty.

But I promise you friend, hope comes. 

Comfort comes. 

Peace comes. 

Love remains.

The light begins to shine again. 

And then one day you find yourself stronger, still constantly in pursuit of healing, but showing up differently.

You show up full of grace for every person you come in contact with. You show up full of compassion because you know most of the battles people face are silently tucked away in their hearts. You show up full of empathy because you have known great pain and therefore you acknowledge great pain. You show up full of patience because you know people need time in a hurried world that often doesn’t allow for it. 

Grief causes you to show up differently and at first that seems like a brutal transformation. What you can’t see or visualize is the way it will manifest into a makeover of grace and of love. 

The best people I know are the ones who have known grief. The most encouraging and inspiring people I know are ones who have held deep heartbreak. Some of the most influential people I know, the ones with impact and kindness, are the ones who grief demanded that they show up differently.

When loss comes and grief finds you, you will show up differently and that difference will be the saving grace for someone. Loss and your life‘s experiences will cause you to show up differently and that will be the healing that a heart watching you needs. 

Don’t be afraid to show up differently. It will be the very thing someone else needs to survive.

xox, Chels

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2 comments so far.

2 responses to “Showing Up Differently After Grief”

  1. Genelle Thompson says:

    I am a volunteer grief counselor with a non-profit hospice. Your writing would be a tremendous asset in working with my bereavement clients. May i have permission to make copies to share with them as I see fit!

  2. Beth says:

    I was wondering how you deal with a friend who has told you that you are different. It seemed me that she was saying it in a way that she wanted me back to my normal self. I understand that people don’t know this kind of grief till they go through it, but it made me sad that someone I considered a friend would not at least have the compassion to understand that it’s ok for me to be a little different.

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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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