Tuesday, 30 July 2019

The Positive Life Changes That Come From Grief



I have been thinking this week that I wanted to speak about the 'positives' that have come from dealing with grief and loss.

I find this hard to write and articulate, as of course there is nothing positive or good in my mum dying and her missing out on growing old, and my adult life with her. I would give anything in a heartbeat to have her back healthy and well.
However I don't want this little space to just focus on sadness. I am living my life everyday, and the majority of the time now I am happy.

Of course life is different, but there are some positive changes about how I live that I could have only learnt through going through that dark place called grief.

Empathy

The first change is that my empathy for others has grown tenfold, and this is a quality that I love having. I have always been a sympathetic person, and can read others' emotions well, but empathy is different. A true understanding and identification of others feelings that is really deep. I hope that I can help and connect, and I feel like a better person for it.

Strength

A self indulgent thing to admit to maybe, but I do feel as though I am a much stronger person that I ever would have been if I hadn't had to deal with such trauma. I have been through one of the worst things in life and I am still breathing and getting out of bed, which honestly I can't believe sometimes, but I am proud of myself for how I am coping. You feel as though nothing else can ever be as bad, so you can handle anything that life throws at you....(although please don't world, I have definitely had enough for a while!)

New Friends

This time last year I took on an epic challenge to trek across the Transylvanian Alps with 60 strangers to raise money for the breast cancer education charity CoppaFeel. It was totally out of my comfort zone, having never really even camped before, let alone used walking poles and climbed any height.
It was an unbelievable experience, but the most special part was meeting other women who had lost their mum's too and for the first time I was able to have conversations with those who truly understood me. I felt so sad that this is what brought us together, but the comfort that it gives me is huge and these are special, kind souls.

Zest for Life

When you go through such a huge loss, especially at a younger age, your whole perspective on the world changes. Little petty things that would normally have caused you upset just are not important anymore. You realise that the cheesy saying 'life is short' is actually true, and that our real aim in life should just be to be happy. Simple pleasures are the important ones, and we need to enjoy each day rather than only striving for end goals, hoping that we will then be happy once we have reached them. I want to live because my mum now cannot. I want to travel, see the world, and make decisions based on my gut and my heart. The truth is that we never know how long we have on this planet, and we shouldn't put things off. Do want makes you happy.

Bravery

Now I do not consider myself a very brave person, especially with the recent anxiety creeping in, but I have certainly pushed myself beyond my boundaries since losing my mum. Nothing worth having is within your comfort zone, they say, and I do believe this fact. I ask myself...'What is that worst that can happen?', and the answer is never as bad as what I have already encountered. So why not try?
I also use my mum's strength, as I think that if she could go through everything that she had to, with all the pain and treatment, then I certainly can push through a little discomfort. Whether it be having orthodontic work and finally conquering my fear of the dentist, going on the Tower of Terror at Disney World, and launching my skincare brand Pennies and Feathers. Even doing a talk in a women's prison and climbing a mountain....I am so proud to have this attitude of trying.

There will be positive changes down the line that you wouldn't want to be taken away from you now. You will learn to see the beauty in life and you will become a confident, strong person who will achieve wonderful things. I promise you.

And my gosh how proud would our loved ones be to see us this way?



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