Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Grief is a strange burden to carry around.  Sometimes it feels like the weight of the world and other times it’s just a shadow, present but unnoticed.  It is hard to explain day to day life with grief.  I was waging a war with it.  I made decisive choices to beat it down; it would not get the best of me in the long run. 

Grief hid in my mind behind my memories waiting for the trigger that would set it off.  Out it jumped and knocked me off my feet.  My principal knew grief.   He had lost his sister and her husband in a car accident.  Grief had rested on Mr. Angelo, weighing him down.  I didn’t know about his loss; he shared it with me one day when I had been blindsided by grief.  He found me crying and wore a knowing, gentle grin. He looked at me and said, “What was it that triggered it again?  You can’t always see it coming.  I know the feeling.” 

Mr. Angelo had seen The Great Tishone; he had spent a long time finding his way back from his war with grief.  He spoke highly of The Tishone and would just shake his head.  “He listened and listened…until I figured it out.  The grief was not going away; there was no way to ‘figure it out’.  It just happened.  After a long, long time, I was okay, just okay.”

It was strange exchanging the experience of The Tishone together and yet it seemed rather natural.  After seeing The Great Tishone for so long, I wondered how I had ever managed without him to re-frame my thinking.  I was born a realist and sometimes that shades my perspective with a negative slant.  The Tishone taught me to see things from another angle, to recognize when I was going there and to choose a different way of looking at things.

I’m analytical; he gave me a new formula for seeing my world.  I had to choose it but he showed me the possibilities.  I used to tell my friends at school, “I’m getting an A+ in grief.”  I was really beginning to see the choices I had;  I chose to be empowered.

I don’t want to give the impression that I was on the smooth path; it was a roller-coaster ride.  The longer I was on the ride, the easier it was to anticipate the curves, the highs and lows.  Each day was filled with a little more hope and that was what I was looking for.

1 comment:

  1. Great description of grief. Great advice to seek counsel. Life is not easy but it helps if you reframe your thinking.