Coming Back to Life
I have this amazing window in my room.
I know there are a lot of important reasons to choose an apartment, but for me a huge priority is the windows. I love natural light and nature and getting to lay in bed and watch trees, birds, and weather pass outside.
When we first moved into this apartment, it was mid-summer and there was so much green outside. I fell in love instantly.
Then winter came, as it does, and I watched my window go from green to grey in the cold. Even though I'm sure the leaves fell one by one by one, it seemed like it happened all at once. Like my beautiful, green window turned suddenly to dust, twigs, dirt, grey. Like in the middle of the night one great gust of wind ripped all of the greenery off the trees and swept them away and out of view.
I think grief is a lot like winter.
Most times it hits overnight, out of nowhere - sudden and violent, diminishing everything around you. Green to grey.
Maybe you've felt this way too?
I think most of us have gone through something in our lives that devastates us in this way. One day everything is green, and then out of nowhere all of the life within you has been blown away.
You know this feeling if you've ever thought, "I'll never recover from this."
Or, "I don't see how I can ever be okay again."
Just this weekend, I walked back into my room after a few days away. My curtains were open, and all of a sudden I realized my window was fully green again.
This time it didn't seem like it happened all at once.
I have seen the greenery returning slowly but surely. I have heard the birds beginning to sing again, seen the grass begin to grow, felt the sunshine once again warming my window sill. And then finally there it was, my window, back and green and new.
Coming back to life.
In my experience, recovering from grief and pain happens in the same way.
What comes in a sudden devastation leaves us slowly like winter. Until one day you're standing in your bedroom, and you suddenly realize that you're coming back to life again. And of course, there still will be random cold snaps and of course it has left you forever changed, but you are alive once again.
This analogy hit me as I was staring out my beautiful green window. In my life I've gone through things I thought would surely knock me down forever. Everyone has had a moment like this. Unfortunately, in the moment it's hard to see how the dead parts of you could ever come back to life.
A really good friend of mine gave me a children's book one time called, The Tree That Survived the Winter.
In this book, there's a tree who mourns the loss of the leaves being stripped from her branches. She finds herself angry at the Sun for disappearing behind clouds, and for becoming colder and colder. She feels utterly broken as she shivers throughout the cold and lonely winter. But, she survives.
And when the Sun returns, and she is yelling at him (of course) she slowly begins to realize that the cold winter made her stronger and that she has the potential within her to bloom once again.
That book may be for kids but it's amazing. And it tells us the same truth I'm trying to get at with my window analogy. Surviving grief and pain is so hard, and cold, and lonely. But it unlocks a power within us that will one day have the power to bring us back to life. And it will help us bring others back to life.
It may physically be spring outside, but for those of you still in winter - you are not alone, and you will make it through this. My heart & home & DMs are always open.
For those of you in spring now - share your power with those who are still struggling to make it through every day. We are stronger and better together, and it takes love & friendship to make it through the worst times in life.
For all the people who helped me through my winters in the past - thank you for listening, showing up, bringing food, encouraging me to ask for help, and forcing me to open up.
For you, here, reading this - you are loved, whatever you're going through whether it's big or small, you will be okay again one day.
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Thank you for reading.