Thursday, August 28, 2014

Grief - Does it change you or reveal you?

"Grief does not change you,... It reveals you." ~ John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

Ever since losing Austin I've heard (and even said) "grief changes you" or "I'm different since losing Austin." Then the other day I stumbled upon the above quote and it got me thinking. Did it truly change the core of who I am, or simply peel away some layers to reveal a deeper look at who I am?

I started reflecting on other life events that "changed" me. For example, the birth of my first child (Austin), "changed" me, or did it? It changed what my priorities were, what my focus was. It changed how I made decisions, since now I had a little one to take into consideration. But, did it change the core of who I am?

As I ponder this question as it pertains to who I am since Austin left us, I am inclined to say, "No, I am still the same at the very core, but I see life through different eyes. Just like I saw life through different eyes after he was born." I had choices as to how I could let it change my view of life. I could have become a very negative, bitter person. I could have seen life as horrible....  I could have, but I chose not to.

Life is life. It has some awesome, wonderful moments - witnessed when you hear the first cry of your baby when he enters this world. And it has some very, very awful moments.... ones we don't want to experience, but we have no choice. It is what it is.

I find myself often saying, "That is  part of life. It is what it is. What are you going to do?" when I've just shared with someone that I have three boys, one who is no longer with us. I'm sure it sounds a little odd when I say this, but it is what it is, and I don't know how else to explain it. I had no choice  when Austin died. I couldn't say, "Um, yeah, I don't think I want to have this part of my life." That wasn't an option.

What I did have a choice in was who I let the loss make me be. Or, maybe I should say I had a choice of what part of me I let it reveal a little more of.

"Difficult times always create opportunities for you to experience more love in your life." ~ Barbara de Angelis