Feet on a kayak on a lake

Grief is a Gift

It's going on 7 months since the accident and ever since the new year I have had a new bout of energy that led to this blog. It is kind of odd if you think about it. Nothing is really that different now that it's 2016 instead of 2015, but the psychological aspect of it being a new year and the possibility of new beginnings gives us hope. New year, new me. Right? The craziest part for me is that I am truly different.

For the first 6 months, it was a rare day if I did not cry. Some days it was only for a few minutes, other days it was nonstop. There were days I wished I had died in the accident. Since 2016 started, I have shed significantly less tears. I am finding motivation I wish I had back in college! How is that possible? Is it really the idea of it being a new year that is encouraging me to be better? Or is it that I'm finally becoming okay with my grief?

Grief is a wild emotional response. As human beings we may not share the same experiences, but we do share the same emotions. Grief is one that brings us together, but it also creates uncomfortable situations for people who do not know how to react. It is hard trying to comfort someone who is grieving, especially if you have never experienced it yourself. Even if you have experienced it, it can still be difficult! Each person grieves differently, but how amazing is that? We take a universal emotional experience and make it our own without even trying. It is a painfully beautiful part of being human, that we are able to love someone or something so deeply that their absence leaves us in a pit of sorrow.

The guy who cleans our gutters every year stopped by this morning and asked if my dad was around. I told him he passed away this past summer, and immediately I could see the sadness in his eyes. It is truly amazing how our hearts go out to people we barely know. Tragedies are horrible, yes, but at least they inspire closeness. After he left I broke down for a few minutes. I do not think it will ever matter how much time has passed...actually speaking the words that my dad is dead will never be easy. But you know what? I am okay with that. I am becoming okay with my pain because it is a physical reminder of how special, beautiful, and deep my love is for him. I may not be able to talk or laugh or hug him anymore, but he is here with me. I would not feel this amount of pain if his love was not still with me.

I think I am becoming okay because yes, 2016 started with a promise of new beginnings. But the strength I am mustering is coming from within. I never thought I would feel this way again, especially only after 6 months. I have a pure excitement for life! I needed to grieve and veg out with the television for months because it helped me heal. But our time here is precious. LIFE IS A GIFT! Brilliant, incredible, overwhelming and heartbreaking at times, but a beautiful gift nonetheless. I am choosing to let my pain make me better. I am accepting it without judgment and feeling it when it comes.

If you are in a hopeless place, I promise you life gets better. No matter how dark your world is right now, it will not stay that way. I know what that feels like...to be so numb that even the things that should bring you joy cannot. But I am telling you, do not give up on life. If you give it a chance, life will show you happiness and beauty you never knew existed.


Kaylie Schmidt

Beautifully put Schmidty. I get it. I am learning to become okay with my grief too. Your words touched my heart.
Thanks. Love.

Kaylie Schmidt

I love that you have chosen to share this with us all. Your words give me inspiration. Thank you for being you.

Kaylie Schmidt

I’m still learning to deal with my dad’s death and it’s been 12 years. I applaud you with your strength and courage to share your story. You have inspired
me so much and put things into perspective :)

Kaylie Schmidt

Wonderfully expressed Kaylie! So proud of you :) Just feel it and allow it. Love and light always, Adrienne

Kaylie Schmidt

Thank you, Kaylie. God truly blessed me when our paths crossed. Your words are so powerful that everyone griefs differently.
Keep the faith.
Rhonda Bishop

Kaylie Schmidt

My name is Martha and I am dear friends with Catherin and Sarala. I am also Ben’s mom and I know you and Ben and Sarala were in school together at NWSA. I can’t help but be deeply moved by the love, courage and centeredness reflected in the thoughts you so eloquently share in your blog. Please know that others, unknown to you perhaps, knew of what happened and have been holding you and your family in the Light from afar. I do know, for reasons of my own that Sarala can share with you, the challenges our souls encounter and the importance of the ongoing journey to mindfulness. I can only say that your sharing is also a gift. I don’t think the grief ever leaves us fully, it just becomes a constant companion that we learn to accept and walk with…a part of who we are and there is a blissfulness and odd comfort to it for it reminds us of the enormity, constancy, and depths of our love. A beautiful new normal emerges like a phoenix from the ashes. I continue to hold you in the Light…though now you know. Thank you for your blog and for the gifts I know you will bring forth into the world. Hugs.

Kaylie Schmidt

Even though we grieve differently, I understand your pain.

I had a conversation with a student the other day who lost both parents in a car crash when he was in 3rd grade. Can you imagine? We talked about how hard it is to overcome such sorrow, but also of all the good things that come with learning to grieve. We literally talked about how ‘grief is a gift’.

If you haven’t already, you need to make it a point to see the movie Mr. Holmes. A few days after I had the conversation with my student I saw that movie and I was amazed at how things come full circle. Watch it, I promise you won’t be disappointed. It will make you sad in all of the right ways.

Lots of love. KD

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