We often count the days, weeks and months since we lost the ones we love, but it always feels like it just happened yesterday.
Have you ever been through the storm and could feel the sun, just for the clouds and rain to swiftly cover its glory? Have you ever felt like you were just starting to “feel normal”, then another blow to your heart brings you deeper into despair than before?
That’s what it felt like on May 3, 2016, when my beloved Uncle Nell passed, and three family members had already passed by then.
Nell was my best male friend, I could talk to him on the phone for hours without being bored, and I could be all of me and still be loved. I could share my doubts, fears and insecurities, and not be judged, but uplifted. It makes me wonder; how many of us really know unconditional love?
I still remember the moment I found out that he had passed; the angst that rushed out of my throat as I yelled “No”; the river of pain that flowed from my eyes; the morning after that felt like it was all a dream. I still remember planning his funeral; regretting that I hadn’t overlooked his mental illness to not feel hurt by his paranoia or aggressive behavior; I still remember the man I loved with all of my heart; how he knew exactly what I needed to hear; how much he believed in me and affirmed me; how much he truly, deeply loved me.
If it weren’t for his passing, a part of my heart wouldn’t be missing, but I also wouldn’t be the mostly whole, self-loving, confident, determined woman that I am today. If it weren’t for him leaving this earth, my life as it is would not exist. I would not be a woman capable of accepting love and being love.
You see, the pain of his death was a reality check regarding all of the healing I had to do from a lifetime of pain. Therapy helped me to release all of the anxiety, guilt and negative experiences. I have not been the same since.
Through all of the pain, I have learned many lessons, and I now know things that I didn’t know before.
10 THINGS I KNOW AND LEARNED FROM HEARTACHE
- I learned that none of us has time to waste. Every moment we’re alive is a gift.
- I learned that forgiveness is just as freeing as anger.
- I learned how to take care of my heart, soul and mind.
- I learned how to be fearless.
- I learned that pain can be used to free us from ourselves – our toxic patterns, oozing, hidden wounds and the things we never say, but need to.
- I know how God’s peace, love, comfort and strength heals.
- I know that mental illness is a daily battle for many.
- I know what unconditional love looks, sounds and feels like.
- I know that therapy is necessary to get through grief.
- I know that I have a choice regarding what to do with my pain. I can let it destroy me or use it to recreate me.
I didn’t realize it before, but there’s no coincidence that my uncle, who suffered with mental illness, died during mental health awareness month, and that the one-year anniversary of his death falls on the day of the week that I publish new posts on Sincerely Sharee.
The next time you experience pain, make a decision to walk through it. Don’t ignore it. Don’t run away from it. Trying to cover it up with alcohol, sex, food and other things will never be enough. Take one step at a time towards healing. Time only heals wounds when we acknowledge that they exist and confront them head on. It’s the best way.
Use your pain to move from heartache to thankfulness; to build a new heart, a new soul, a new mind, a new you, a new life!
How have you gotten through grief? Are there experiences in your life that you have not yet worked through? How will dealing with them change your life?
Be loved. Love you. Be love.
*Photo Credit: Brown Girl Bloggers