Gifts of Grief

I wonder if I'll ever stop finding nuanced gifts in the primary wound of death, loss, and grief.

Reflecting on losing my parents early, I have to say it's one of the gentlest and most forgiving paths to independence. Even as it completely destroyed my world twice, once when I was five and once when I was 23.

Even as it still feels like I'm walking through a world where the ground may at any moment fall cleanly from my feet and leave me in a free fall.

(Even the freefall is a ground, for one who is committed to feeling grounded.)

That's the gift I'm feeling today. My independence isn't resentful. I'm ready to pick up responsibility for anything in my life, and I really consider that I may need to do that, because I know that even the most consistent, loving, loyal person can be gone in an instant, through no choice or fault of their own or anyone else's.

I'm not independent because I can't trust other people, I'm independent because everything is temporary. My independence allows me to temporarily trust others with absolutely essential needs of mine, while never believing those needs could be anyone else's responsibility.

Both of my parents died without warning--my father literally fell from the sky, a healthy 33 year old man moments before.

I have plucked a life out of the void many times, suddenly assuming responsibility for needs I hadn't even been aware of--I'm prepared to do it again.

I know that the people in my life are temporarily with me on my journey, that all they do for me they do because they are here. I know that one day they may not be.

Death has shown me that I am not entitled. No entitlement means every little thing is a gift.

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