The Grief That Lives In Joy
I am going to be a grandma! Which is probably one of the most wonderful things ever. And more than that, I am going to be a grandma twice! Two of my three children are having babies—three weeks and five days apart to be exact. Well, if they come when they say they are coming. They meaning the ultrasound and OB/GYN people. The they that are these perfect beings that are soon to be babies, they will come when they want to come and so I have been sending out loving and grandma like messages to them asking them to maybe work together and come far enough a part that I can get across the country from one to the other when their sweet breath and small hands and full hearts enter our world. I am thinking they are probably not listening to me. They are too busy growing and making their lungs strong and their kidneys healthy and tapping into their mommy's and their daddy's voices and love.
So this grandma person that I am now. That moment when I heard, when I learned that I was becoming this, that I was moving into this new place that I would inhabit and my heart filled with joy, grief came along too. It sat quietly but certainly let me know it was there. Tender actually in it's presence and it's knowing and I let it linger for a bit and then got down to business.
Grief when you are becoming a grandmother I googled. And what came up over and over again was "grieving because I will never be a grandmother" and "helping a grandparent who is grieving." Google did not understand my question and no matter how much I changed my words and rearranged my thoughts the information about this was the same.
This was much the same way when my son got married. I went a 'googling to see if I could find words to capture the strong feelings that arose from deep within my core. But there was nothing. So I wrote about it here. The fullness and joy of my boy and this beautiful woman who I just loved since she was seventeen getting married! And along with this, the deep sadness and loss. And grief.
I wrote back then there is wonder in this. And joy. And sadness too. But a good sadness. More an honoring of the passing of time and the change that is taking place in his life. And in my life, too.
And I wrote that I could not quite get what it all meant. And so, to learn this lesson fully, the universe gifted me more experiences to illuminate this message so that I would understand.
It was not a loss of my son, it was a loss of my self. A loss of who I was in that instant before and those moments before that. For when we step forward into the new place that fills us up and awakens the joy in our hearts and our souls, we step away from the place we were before. Every time.
There is loss in transition. And there is grief in loss.
I do not think this is talked about much when the grief settles in on those times where the world sees only joy. But really every moment forward is a loss of what is now past us. Every stone we step on as we move in our journey down river means we have left our wet footprint behind and can no longer see those flowers that grow along that part of the riverbank. We leave behind everything we love every day even as we love these things again when we awake.
And so these babies. These miraculous gifts of life that are coming forth into this world through my babies. This is spectacular. And now I know the lesson they are bringing with them. I can just now start to see them down river, they are waiting after the bend that will then block my view if I look back upstream. They are small and sweet and will define this new place that I am moving towards as I settle more deeply into my own life. They are the physical manifestation of the movement of life. And they will embody this transition fully.
Mother, Wife, Friend, Sister, Daughter, Dancer, Rower, Runner, Dog and Cat lover.