For years I kept thinking there was a corner to turn in my grief. I kept thinking that I should be better by now; that I should be able to re-enter the life I once knew and get on with it.

Benjamin CornerI don’t know where I got the idea that there was a corner to turn in the respite of my sorrow. I never read anything or spoke with anyone that said the Afterloss had a process that would alleviate this dull, pounding ache I carried from one moment into the next. No one said there was an exit sign on this broken glass I walked barefoot day after day, night after night.

Still, somewhere in my psyche I had come to this illusionary conclusion that there was a corner out there and when I made that turn I would be ok. The fog would clear and I would be able to see the sun again…just as soon as I got to that corner.

In my wanderings in the Afterloss, I have yet to find any corners. I have not come across some formula that says drink this and the pain will go away. There is no two steps forward, one step back. Grief…loss…sorrow…life lived in the Afterloss does not fit in a neat little package, does not conform to linear time and has no corner to turn.

In physics, quantum mechanics does not fit the theory of relativity. The small, minute dynamics of the micro doesn’t obey the laws of time and space in Einstein’s formula. My world of the Afterloss and the surface world wrestle with the same dilemma. In my Afterloss particles of pain and sorrow ricochet at random. I find myself completely devastated with no rhyme or reason. One day, or one hour, of relief is no guarantee the next won’t take me to my knees.

In the beginning of my journey through the Afterloss, I lived in survival mode. I braced myself for the next onslaught of sorrow. I tried to protect myself, to guard against wave after wave of debilitating emotions. I would wake exhausted, crawl through the day in emotional upheavals and reluctantly close my eyes at the end of the night knowing when the beginning of the day returned I would wake exhausted, crawl through the day….

I just wanted a corner to turn.

I had to find another way to travel my Afterloss. I couldn’t continue to constantly brace myself for the next wave. I couldn’t keep fighting against the inevitable. I simply couldn’t push the river.

When I accepted there were no corners to turn, the landscape of my Afterloss began to change. When I leaned into my pain, let whatever I needed to feel be felt, and rested in the reality that this was my path, healing began.

The only way for me to get to my healing was to go through my pain. I unclenched my life, and opening to whatever came, in came the gentleness of grief. What I thought was going to kill me was actually what was going to heal me.

Loss broke my heart. To lose what I loved most tore me to pieces. To love in my brokenness and loss brings those pieces together again into a new heart, a new love and a new life.

The ones I love and lost will always be a part of my healing. They touch my life everyday and what used to take every ounce of my being now nurtures me, expands me, deepens me.

I lost the ability to hold and touch the ones I love, but I have never lost the ability to be touched and loved by the ones love. All is not lost. There is still our unending love. And that love heals me.

I gave up looking for a corner to turn a long time ago. I don’t need them.

When I have one of those days when I am incapacitated I simply accept that I have stumbled upon another layer in my Afterloss. There is another part of me to explore.

As I open to my sadness and my longing for what is irretrievable, I find a peace that says it’s okay to be sad; it’s okay to long for the ones I love. It’s okay to feel a part of me is missing. These are now signs of my healing.

To be able to be at peace in my sorrow and accept that it hurts, heals me. To do what I can do and accept that is all I can do, heals me. And to accept that I love them just as much today as the first day they entered my life, continues to heal me.

I am so grateful there are no corners to turn. It would have been the wrong turn. I would not have found me, and I probably would not have found you.

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