In my closed grief group, (a prompt I use occasionally), I ask our members to describe their grief journey in one word. I always take part in and have recently used the same word—evolve.
I chose this word hands down over ‘change’. Yes, I did my research and my instincts were correct. I have chosen the exact word for me.
Here I am at eleven years missing my father, and eight years of missing my mother. I totally am not the same person I was before and certainly not since they gained their wings. And no I haven’t just ‘changed’—I have evolved.
Both words change and evolve are verbs.
Change is defined simply as “To become different.”
While the word evolve is defined as “To change, transform, develop.”
Yep, that’s my word. I’m more than just changing. I’m evolving my life.
My griever’s life- such a complicated life, too.
Have you read my progress? Go back and read all my blogs—from day one. You’ll see it happening right before your eyes, from one heartfelt blog to the next. I have to grieve and I finally learned to accept that. No holding back, no medicating it, no ignoring it like society prefers–I have to grieve. My age has changed, my physical location has changed, my career has changed—but my outlook and opinion on grief and my own grief journey– has totally evolved.
Many inquiries come to my open group page inbox. Someone has lost their daughter, son, husband, parent, sibling and have no idea what to do with their sadness. First thing I always do is extend my sympathy to their loss and let them know how glad I am they found my page. Second, I encourage, grief counseling. Next usually comes an invite to check out my closed group and or give them ideas as to where to find counseling close to them. The majority, hit up my closed group, others, go looking for inexpensive grief counseling in their area.
Now eight to 11 years ago, I wouldn’t have done any of that. I couldn’t help another soul find their way out of a box, let alone direct them to help or even care who they lost recently. I was completely heartbroken and lost in my own grief. Once my mother left, I went to a dark side. (Just typing that makes me realize, wow, I have chosen the right word for me—I have evolved immensely!)
Back when my father died, I was introduced to the “Stages of Grief”. Today, I laugh at the concept. There is no way in hell I even believe one person goes through them and moves forward so easily, let alone –successfully in that order. I bounce back and forth, therefore, I can’t even grasp the so-called “Stages of Grief” concept. It was a good idea or introduction to this complicated journey, but far from the answer or path of healing, I could relate to. Others are trying to market the same rhythm, using different words and wrapping up grief into a nice package for healing –with a process and philosophy. “Follow this path …” I always shake my head to this—as I read among my 1.7K closed members posts and random comments from my 214K open group followers… and I ask “If healing was better off ‘structured’, why are more joining me, then…leaving?
Again, if I wasn’t evolving, I could never conceive these thoughts. I could never run a closed group or write out this blog!
Change is too stagnating. Evolving is truer to this griever’s life journey.
I am personally transforming and developing. My outlook isn’t as dark as it once was when I first gained my adult orphan title.
Now don’t get me wrong, I do have my moments of crying—down days come out of nowhere. Just this past holiday season—I was in a funk. As well seasoned as I am in my grief journey, it surprised me. But I have good days, too. Those days I relish in. I see where I have been. I have evolved and developed skill, knack, talent –whatever power you want to call it–to live with my grief, within my life, and the sadness which accompanies it. Yes, my experiences with grief have changed me, but they have changed me to see I can evolve —evolve every day and not stay stagnate in my grief and not feel guilty in my good days which bring me such well-deserving good moods and thoughts.
Everyone heals differently. I am not a counselor by no means—no certification after my name, at all. But I will stand by my experiences, my testimonials and share with the world and the grieving community as much as I can, as much as a survivor of grief can….
I refuse to change.
Call me an overachiever.
Think about it because-Sully Said It