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Split Paths

"I asked grief, 'what do you fear?' She said, 'turning into resentment and not compassion'."

Our grief constantly presents us with having to make choices, split paths, deciding major moments in life. When I saw this post on Instagram it struck a nerve, for I was once caught up in walking down the road of resentment after losing Ari.
Quite honestly, it can be pretty tempting and seem almost easier to stay in the suck, to follow the path of misery. It took a lot less energy to be swallowed up and consumed, without putting up a fight.
Right after Ari died, I was in go-go-go mode, trying to make things happen that most likely were not meant to be. It was kind of like trying to put a square peg into a round hole. Trying to make sense of Ari's death, finding the reason. Everyone kept saying 'everything happens for a reason' so I insisted on finding it. With no answers (because there will never be one), I was frustrated to no end.
Anger consumed me most of the time. It was easier to hold onto the hostility and animosity I felt towards those who had what we lost. I allowed the extreme disappoint to hinder relationships with family and friends; those who said nothing or avoided bringing Ari up in conversation due to the awkwardness that they felt around us and our grief. The texts subsided, the meal train of pasta dishes came to an end, Chase returned to school, Brandon to work. Life for everyone was moving forward. But I so desired to go back. I was stuck, unsure where and what to do.
I ignored my emotional needs because I thought that no one could fulfill them. It was just easier to push them down and say "I'm fine."
Well, clearly I wasn't and eventually over time I took the steps to make a change. I recognized these harboring feelings needed the boot. By holding onto all the negative, I was not making any space for love, for growth. With expressive movement, talk therapy, journaling, non-negotiable self care, and dedicated time for rest, I began to release the emotions I didn't care to hold onto anymore. I was starting to fill that space with emotions of value for me, for my family, for my growth. And my heart extended out to helping other moms walking a similar path.
You see, those of us who are grieving have the ability to expand our capacity for compassion exponentially. We've been there, we've climbed out of the trenches, we can sympathize with others who are hurting. No matter the difference in circumstance. We can be supported in the midst of supporting someone else. We can be there and stand with someone in their worst moment because we have been there, too.
We have the power to choose. And if one day we feel we are not on the path we need to be, we can decide to choose differently. That part of our journey will always present for us to make a choice, to start again.

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