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Slices of Life: When your world changes but the world doesn’t

"I guess I’m writing this to simply say that grief not only turns your world upside down, it changes it forever. It changes you forever. The world still looks the same, it still operates the same, but you come to understand you’ll never be the same," writes Jill Pertler.

Jill Pertler
Jill Pertler
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The world still looks the same. Nothing has changed.

The sun rises in the east and sets in the west. Water evaporates and later falls from the sky. Each day starts with morning dew on the grass and ends as darkness envelops the air and stars become visible in the night sky. Seedlings sprout. Flowers bud and blossom. Bees make honey. Babies are born. Children laugh. I breathe in and out, living in a world that looks like it hasn’t changed.

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Except for the fact that it has. Except for the fact that nothing is the same. Except for the fact that it never will be. Not ever again, because from my perspective, everything has changed.

I live in a completely different world than I did just two years ago. I guess grief — deep, deep heart-rendering grief — does that to you.

I have come to terms with the reality that my world will never be the same.

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And you know what? That’s OK.

It’s excruciatingly sad. But it’s OK. It has to be. I don’t have a choice except to make it be OK. There is no alternative.

I’m not writing these words for pity. I don’t want anyone’s pity. That’s not what grief is about.

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It is about love. At its core, grief is all about love. And love is never to be pitied.

I guess I’m writing this to simply say that grief not only turns your world upside down, it changes it forever. It changes you forever. The world still looks the same, it still operates the same, but you come to understand you’ll never be the same. Because you’ve changed. Right down to your DNA, or nearly so. Or maybe exactly so. It impacts that deep.

And that changes you in other ways. In ways beyond just grief.

Just grief. Ha! (There’s a pair of words that should probably never be paired.)

It’s true. Grief changes your world. At least it’s changed mine. It has caused an evolution in my life. It has molded me into a person I never thought I would be.

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And as much as I’ve hated the process, I’m beginning to like the new me. As much as I wish I could change the last two years, I’m proud of where I am today. I survived what I thought was unsurvivable — insurmountable. I have not yet made it to the mountain peak, but I am climbing my way out and up. Sometimes the rocks are jagged, other times the path is clear and the steps come easy, but I know what I have to do. I have to keep going.

It’s what he wants. It’s what I want. It’s what we want.

I wake up each morning to face the day in a world that looks the same, but has changed in every way. But the birds are still singing. The squirrels scamper. The grass grows. The sun shines through the clouds and filters in through my bedroom curtains. The rays of light dance on the wall in spontaneous patterns. I breathe in and out and even though so much has changed, including me, the world — and life — while different, is still beautiful.

Jill Pertler is an award-winning syndicated columnist, published playwright and author. Don’t miss a slice; follow the Slices of Life page on Facebook.

Related Topics: SLICE OF LIFEFAMILY
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