I’ve Lost “Me” in my Grief

I have discovered another ply to this heavy blanket of grief.  It is the loss of me.   I am not who I was.  The “before” me is no more. The moment my son’s heart stopped, mine began to beat in a different rhythm.  IMG_7797Realization of the breadth of our separation exploded like a bomb and left my heart shattered. The security of the past is now only an illusion, and the sanguine suppositions of life now lay in piles on the ground with the shards of my fractured heart. What am I to do with the “after” me?

In a single instant that was completely out of my control, I not only lost my son, but also in some sense, myself. My life was thrown into a kaleidoscope of change.   While struggling to breathe under the unwelcome layers of my grief blanket, my strained spirit also wrestles with piecing together the broken bits of me. The “before” me was violently shaken and now the pieces of me are in flux. person in kaleidoscopeI stand in a new relation to the parts of the old me and I am left to shape the “after” me into something useful, even something beautiful.

This is not easy.  I miss much of the “before” me who approached life with surety and confidence.  The me who seemed so likeable and happy.  The qualities of the “after” me must be put together with gentleness and resolve, lest they become another burden for me and others to bear. My two opposing natures will never cease to struggle.  Daily the pieces of the “after” me settle into a new pattern.  Some days I live in the uncomfortable and ugly chaos of shifting pieces in search of a new and unique design.  kaleidoscope in motionOther days I simply don’t like the depiction and I find that I must disrupt the pattern and slowly turn the kaleidoscope to find a fresh combination.

I am not alone in creating this new perspective. Thank goodness, because some days I don’t have the strength to raise the lens.  I place my kaleidoscope in the only hands capable of making something beautiful of my brokenness.  In the hands of my Master Creator, the slightest shift transforms my vulnerability into authenticity, mosaic heart no mortarmy self-pity into empathy, my solitude into more intentional relationships, my quietness into contemplative prayer, my insecurity into a better perspective, my weakness into strength and my doubt into hope.  The “before” me still exists in bits that can be shifted together with the fractal pieces of the “after” me when placed in the hands of The Designer.  He can adjust the angle of the lens to allow my before and after to combine into something beautiful that He will use if only I will let Him.

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9 thoughts on “I’ve Lost “Me” in my Grief”

  1. Thank you…I thought I was the only one feeling broken and lost and unable to find a way to pull myself, the old me back together. I needed to hear that the old me is not the only one who is gone; I long to be happy again, to be carefree and full of love, life, laughter, song and dance….all those things are gone and I struggle to find them and then I feel guilty for laughing, or dancing or enjoying life. Grief grabs my heart and squeezes the joy and laughter out of it. I will keep working to find a new me.

    1. Alma,
      It is such a slow and difficult process and one that I deal with better on some days than others. It helps to know that bothers understand the magnitude of your pain. Praying for you sister.

  2. Thanks so much for this descriptive explanation of the brokenness that grief causes and how it changes a person, this is a perfect comparison to what happens.. love this❤️

  3. This sums up the feelings of a grieving heart so exquisitely. My son died on September 23, 2012…he was 18 years old, and I’m still unsure of what the future holds as I nurture what’s left of the my broken heart. Thank you.

  4. Thank you for your words so eloquently written. I’ve lost my father and my brother. My heart aches so much I’ve lost myself in the aftermath. Your words are just what I needed to see today. So sorry for your loss.

  5. Beautiful…I lost my only child my son Matthew Louis Ryan bon 4-29-16, forever 25, not just my son matt was my best friend…there’s days I can’t or don’t want to wake up, it’s a beautiful article…

    1. Kristin,
      My heart hurts for you. I cannot imagine the pain of losing an only child. Know that he would want you to to make the most of your days and give yourself grace for those days when it seems impossible.

  6. Thank you all for your raw honest feelings. I lost my beautiful 21 yr old only child on 9/25/16 to an OD. He was an Eagle Scout and nature boy and is greatly missed by many! It’s been 8 months and I’m going thru new withdrawals again! 😩😪

    1. Colleen,
      I always prayer that my honesty might help others who are in this same unwelcome journey. Our son was 27 and was the kind of guy everybody loved. The pain ebbs and flows, but always remains. Some days in gentle waves and others in crashing tidal waves that threaten to drown. Love and prayers.

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