I've been thinking a lot about grief lately and I realized something, it's the great equalizer because no matter who you are, where you are, we have all felt it, we all know of it, we all have suffered some sort of grief in our lives. It's something we can all relate to.
It connects everyone.
We have all felt loss, all felt pain, all have a burning hole in our heart that is aching to be reconnected to that someone who died, or to the idea of life that we never lived, or longing for that one who got away, that friend that we don't talk to anymore.
We all feel it.
Grief is a hard one for me to deal with. I feel grief over the life I thought Seth was supposed to have, that we all were supposed to have together, as a family, and now those dreams have been pushed aside for reality. But the truth is, reality is not so bad, in fact reality is good. I love my son, and while sometimes I have those feelings of grief well up, they remind me of all Seth has been through to get where he is, of all that he has accomplished.
I also have grief over my brother's death. My brother committing suicide in fact. I grieve the man that he would have become, I grieve every birthday past my 27th one that I am now older than my big brother. I grieve for the uncle that my son will never know, for the son that my parents lost, for the brother that will no longer be there for love and support.
And grief is a funny thing, it binds us all together. I was on the bus the other day and the bus driver just loves Seth. And she said that I was lucky to have him. And I am. But at that moment I didn't feel very lucky. I was sick, Seth and I were coming home from yet another doctors appointment, we were tired and hungry and not in a great mood at all, and this woman was telling me I was lucky.
And I ask her if she had any children. "Yes" she said, "a son. He's gone now". Her son passed away in a car accident when he was 20 years old. 20. 20 years old. So much life ahead of him gone. And I told her that my brother was gone as well, gone at 27, and we connected. Because we all know grief. It's a pain that never, ever goes away. Time doesn't heal all wounds. It still feels like a stabbing pain in my heart when I think of my brother, when I see the image of his face in my head.
So yes I am damn lucky to have my child. And I assured that woman that she would see her son one day, that he was just waiting up there for her, because that is what I truly believe. Don't ask me if I believe in Heaven or Hell, I couldn't truly tell you one way or the other, but I believe that those who love us are somewhere, and that they see us going through our lives.
I can't ever imagine what it must feel like to lose a child. I can't imagine how my mom feels and I can't imagine how that woman on the bus feels. But I do know that grief makes us human, feeling is one of those things that reassures me that I'm still alive, that I still have passion, that I still have a heart, that God is still with me. Because if I didn't feel I would be. I would cease to exist. Drew calls me a bleeding heart, I say let it bleed. I'm a sensitive, emotional person and I'd rather be this way than not feel at all.
So Seth and I got off that bus and Seth gave the bus driver kisses and waves and a hug. And I remembered something else, something so important to grief . . . . hope and life and love.
It reminds me that we grieve because we love so deeply. And I would feel grief a million times over again before ever giving up the feeling of love, because even though it hurts, even though your heart feels like it's never going to heal and there's a giant hole in it, love is always worth it.