Capture Your Grief: Day 24. Choose Your Breath


I’ve often wondered why some people seem to grow and almost thrive after a devastating loss or trauma and some seem to stay in place. Stuck.  Is there something you’re born with?  Does everything else in your life build you up for that moment?  Is it taught?  Can you force yourself to grow?  I imagine it’s a combination of factors but I find it fascinating.  I’m an active griever—I have to keep moving. I have to find outlets for my energy or I will lose my mind.  I have to emotionally keep moving—reading, writing, participating in healing workshops.  And staying physically active has been a healing tool for me as well.  I think there’s something to learning to control your body and push it, to focus on breathing.  You may not be able to control the emotions that roll over you, but you can learn to focus your reaction to it. Learn to breathe through it.  Earlier tonight, I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I was heartbroken after leaving a family function where my nephews were all dancing and singing for us.  And I knew Zoey should be there too.  She should be tagging along on their adventures.  When I got into the car, I cried. I could not stop the sadness from rolling in.  The grief pulling at my chest.  But I could breathe.  And that’s what I did.  It’s not always easy. I don’t always excel at it, but I’m trying.  That’s how I understand grief. And how I think I can carry on without her—the pain will always be with me, but I will have to channel it in ways that are meaningful to me.  I know it is not the same for everyone.  Someone else may need to find different ways, but I do believe you have to be an active participant in healing.  It doesn’t just happen.  And I believe I’ll be able to make peace with carrying this grief with me.  I don’t really see a choice, grief will always coexist in my life alongside joy. I have to choose to find the beauty in it.

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