On the other side of grief…

I wrote this several months ago and was waiting to push it out until I was ready. It turns out, I was ready today.

Why do we feel grief?

No, I don’t mean the obvious answer of “Well, because there is a loss.”

I mean, why do we even feel loss in the first place? If change is all part of life, and change involves giving, receiving and loss – then why do we feel grief over a loss?

Being created in the garden, I’ve heard it said that we feel grief because we were never meant to know loss. We were created to live in a world that was meant to be perfect. If you’ve been around this world, you know we are far from that intent.

As a result, we have change. As a result, we have loss. As a result, we have grief.

But what is on the other side of that grief?

Last week, I woke up and could not stop crying. I told my husband I wasn’t going to work. For two days last week, I did not even work out. Working out is like – my thing. I hadn’t gone that long not working out for over six years. My husband was so concerned that he called his mother and my mother.

I was in depression, which is a stage of grief.

In the last few months, I have lost the ability to ever eat anything with gluten. During this transition I have:

  •  Given up 50% of the food I use to eat
  • Gotten rid of all my make-up (a lot of make is made with gluten)
  • Given away: our pots and pans, our waffle maker, our griddle, our cooking utensils, and over $100 worth of food
  • Lost the ability to safely take communion at church (although my husband makes up for it by doing communion with me later – he’s so good)
  • Stopped going out to eat – to nearly ever restaurant. Gluten free is NOT the same as celiac friendly
  • Learned how to tolerate the eye-rolls, jokes, and comments from people that don’t understand that this lifestyle is hardly a choice
  • Lost 10 pounds from being too terrified to eat, or from getting sick of accidentally eating gluten (and if you’ve seen me, I don’t need to lose weight)

Yes, I am grateful to be healthy.

Yes, at least I don’t have to take medicine (but really, how crappy is it to compare my illness to a worse one. What does that do to the person with the ‘worse’ illness?).

Regardless of any positives, I have lost my way of life. Ignoring that loss will not reduce the pain.

The way things were will never be the same again. I cannot go back. I can only move forward.

Grief does not last forever. In the words of my husband, “I love you babe, but you gotta get the hell over it.” This depression came. I let it sit for a while. Then I picked myself up off the floor, and moved on. Because that is what you have to choose to do.

Fortunately, something beautiful lives on the other side of grief.

Last week, Del and I went to Kroger and were able to buy new food for me. Instead of spending money going out to eat, we’re going to spend it on trying new food.

I have new make-up, which is a lot more expensive. But I no longer get physically ill from my cheap-o lip gloss. And holy cats people, expensive make-up is really nice.

I am aware of my body more than I ever thought possible. I use to ignore my pain, thinking it was normal. Now, when I am in pain, I stop and take care of myself. My body is happier with me.

On the other side of grief lies acceptance. And as we go through each stage of grief, we come out closer to the garden. For on the other side of acceptance lies one of the most beautiful thing of all… redemption.

Redemption for our pain. Redemption for our loss. Redemption for our grief. It’s going to take a lot of to get there, but it’s worth it.

3 thoughts on “On the other side of grief…

  1. Nice to virtually meet you Stephanie. I got a little confused at this statement “Gluten free is NOT the same as celiac friendly” as I read it backwards. I often have to explain to my friends that even if the restaurant has “gluten free” options I need to read the fine print, as often there is an * that says “not appropriate for those with celiac”. Now that I've been GF for over six months and am mostly healthy I'm starting to branch out. I'm allowing myself one new restaurant per week (more like every other week) … giving it long enough between to ensure that if I do get sick I know why … so far so good …


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