Part Three: Freedom
I always feared losing my husband. He was so much a part of me I couldn’t imagine what life would be like without him. He was a huge sense of security for me, like you’d find in any deep rooted relationship. He was a grounding point, a constant. I couldn’t imagine my life without him because I built my whole life around him. Yet one of the strangest things was uprooted through my grief in losing him. It was freedom.
When your worst fears are realized you would think the pain would be unbearable. And there were times that it was. But once the season of sitting in grief passed, I was greeted by a lightness, joy even. It was unexpected and caught me by surprise. When you’ve been drowning for so long and you’re finally able to undo the weights at your feet, something shifts. When you reach the the surface, gasping for air you’ve never been more thankful for things as simple as the salty air. There’s a lightness that takes over your body once the weight is released. The welcomed second chance at life breeds freedom and a sense of duty and responsibility in the most beautiful of ways.
I took a vacation by myself a few months after Daryn had passed. As I walked up and down the beach, I felt something new rising in me. There in front of the vast body of water, I dropped the weight from my feet and rose to the surface, drinking in a new attitude, new perspective and new life. I was here, alive and I promised myself to never take that for granted. I would walk out each of my days to the best of my ability showing up fully, present in each moment. It was a rebirth only brought about after traveling through grief.
There’s a major transformation and refinement that happens through extenuating circumstances. The metamorphosis brings about a beautiful creature eager to experience life as a new creation. It is grit that’s built though the process that births way to freedom. What you once thought unsurvivable becomes the channel you thrive through. It’s incredibly empowering.
The feelings of guilt are also there to wrestle with. How could I find joy, light and gratitude in such soul shattering hardship? But when you look fear in the eyes and survive it’s worst, you can’t help but look back and smile politely giving it the finger. Daryn’s short life was not meant to bring guilt it was meant to be a gift. A radical realignment of things that mattered most and a release of things that didn’t.
What happens when your worst fears are realized? When your safety net is gone and there’s nowhere to hide? What does it look like when your anxieties become your reality?
You carry on. You stand back up and go again. Because you are strong, capable and resilient. Each day you give your very best and give yourself grace for all the rest. You’re making your way through, trusting a God who’s never left you. You’re consuming a God who’s strength never runs out. You’re leaning into a God asking to take your heavy and exchange it for freedom. When grief steps in, familiar steps out. But that leaves space for new stories to be written, new traits to develop and new freedom to be walked out.