Rereading this chapter was interesting.

It took me right back into the feelings that I had as I was beginning to find my voice in the middle of my grief journey.

For years before Leah died, I had been working thorough childhood wounds. Leah’s death created a sense of urgency that I hadn’t felt before. What I realized is that all of those years I had been doing my inner work were laying the groundwork for the initiation of Leah’s death. When grief entered my life in this profound way, I was ready to make the changes, almost without thinking about them.

Initiation is both the ending of one part of life, and the beginning of another.

It is a rite of passage, and we can go through many initiations in our lifetime. I began to understand that the way I was moving through grief was an initiation each time I took a stand for myself, or spoke up for what I believed in. Losing Leah made the difference. Each time I was faced with a decision to speak up or stay silent, I was reminded that the cost of saying nothing was too great if I was to find the life I was meant to live.

We often hear that in order to grow, we need to get passed our comfort zone.

I was already out of my comfort zone as I tried to figure out how to live without Leah, and I had nothing to lose. That newfound urgency and the years of preparation were coming together to show me the way forward. Each time I heard myself take a stand for a belief, or set a clear boundary, I recognized that it was my grief journey that was giving me the courage of heart and the perseverance to be myself.

All of this didn’t change my grief.

It’s still there. It’s still strong but now I am empowered to meet it successfully.

That is a distinction for me. Cultivating the resources to meet my grief allows me to be fully myself, which includes being with my feelings of grief when they arise.

So often we think that if we resist our painful feelings long enough, they will go away, and we won’t have to feel them. Whenever we resist something, it persists. Our painful feelings don’t go away, they go underground, and wait for a crack in the surface of our lives to burst forth. And burst they do. Like a volcano erupting, our overwhelming feelings spew their wrath when we least expect it. And we crumble.

When we develop and nurture tools to meet our grief in a way that makes sense to us, we are on a path back to ourselves. We are learning how to be who we were born to be.