Waiting Rooms and Grief

December 28, 2020

I don’t enjoy waiting rooms. In fact, I’m fairly confident no one enjoys waiting rooms, at least I’ve failed to meet someone who does. Yet, grief has somehow placed me in this constant and neverending waiting room. 

After losing my mother, I’ve found portions of my life are stuck in the waiting.

Waiting for life to continue the way it used to.

Waiting for joy to return.

Waiting to recognize happiness again.

Waiting to stop harboring ache and longing. 

Waiting to understand and comprehend this new reality.

Waiting for the grief to leave, or at least for it to fade and diminish in strength.

Waiting for answers.

Waiting for the return of hope and faith.

Waiting for life and loss to make sense. 

I find myself still, motionless, and unmoved while the world around me continues. 

I’m no longer sure this waiting holds purpose. No longer sure I’m waiting for the right things, for realistic answers or practical conclusions. I’m not even sure I’m in the correct space or seat. 

Every moment I sit in this hypothetical space, I let a moment of living slip away. 

Who am I expecting to show up and call my name? Who am I expecting to give me all the things I’m waiting for? Who am I expecting to heal my soul, quiet my mind, and restore my heart’s composition? 

Grief didn’t place me here. I did. I allowed my grief to paralyze my continued efforts to live and enjoy life. I allowed my grief to place me in this uncomfortable chair, in this make-believe room, with no one here to heal or fix my pain. This isn’t a pain that can be fixed, it’s simply one that I must learn to live with. One that I must learn to transform, and shift, and carry in ways that also allow me to continue pressing forward, into the life that sits paused, waiting for me. 

Waiting is simply stagnancy, staying where we are or where we were placed. Moments spent on standby. Moments not lived fully or enjoyed. Moments paused and imobile. Moments missed and avoided. 

While I’m sitting here in this grief, in this space of waiting, my life sits outside waiting for me. 

Waiting to be lived.

Waiting to be enjoyed.

Waiting to be fulfilled and experienced.

I’m done with grief’s waiting room. I’m done waiting. Time is limited. Today, instead of waiting on answers, instead of waiting on meaning and relief, I’ll step forward, ready to live, to be, and to start creating the remaining pieces of my life. 

No more letting time slip by. No more staying stagnant when I don’t have to. No more purposeless waiting. 

Do you hear that? It’s your name being called. It’s your life calling you back, different, a little more empty than before, but it’s calling you back, to be lived. Go on…what are you waiting for?

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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