Yesterday I felt like I hit the grief guardrail at 75 miles an hour. I knew it was coming and I knew I couldn’t turn fast enough. It was emotionally inevitable and, as much as I wanted to avoid it, I also have been needing it. It was an intimate group of family and friends at a beautiful cemetery near where his grandparents lived, and Tin spent many summers. We had prayers, we had songs and we shared words. I dove deep into my grief to honor how much Tin was missed but, in loss, the world gained our story, a piece of his light and a bit of hope – A true legacy.
Some say that this is a closing of a door and starting a new chapter, but I disagree. Chapter, yes. Door, no. You don’t shut a door on your past and forget about it. You turn a page knowing you can revisit and reflect if or when you need.
I don’t know why things happen the way they do but it is very apparent that there is a reason. Had I not had to wait four years, I may not have had the experiences that lead me to my new love filled life. I might have never shared openly about my journey and introduced Clayton to so many that needed to hear their grief was normal.
I have always been one to reach down and lift others up, knock down walls and pave new ways for others to come into their light. Yes, this ends one chapter and begins a new one, but I think “closing the door” is also trying to validate ignoring grief after a set event just because society puts a timeline on “you should”. Telling me what to do, tells me I should do the opposite because people try to put others in a grief gilded cage. Accepting grief is what has helped me grow through it and, in time, see the gifts that gratitude readily affords me. I found the key and I’m unlocking the cage for others so they may learn to fly again on grief’s subtle ground winds.
I’ll always miss Tin but yesterday had a lighter, more completed feeling I have never felt before. I know I am moving forward in a healthy way at my pace. I will look back here and there to stay humble and honor that my losses lead me towards more. I won’t walk back through that door, but I refuse to close it just in case there is someone starting a grief journey of their own and needs to see there’s a light ahead…
I miss you Clayton and I am so grateful for the time we had together. It’s time you finally rest in peace, and I promise I will continue growing through grief with gratitude…