I’m not one hundred percent sure when it happened. The moment that I realized I needed purpose through the grief. The moment that I knew I needed something more, bigger than me, in order to help ease the never-ending, gripping pain of grief. It happened, though. Possibly in the fate of things, when something bigger in-and-of-itself, brought purpose to me. And when that moment happened, it changed me. It changed my journey through the darkest time of my life.
We’ve all agreed that grief is ruthless. It clenches, drowns, and completely encompasses every thought, muscle and action of our bodies. It is never ending, it creeps up at the most unexpected times, and it truly has no concern for the moments you may be in. It’s nasty, ugly, and it only belongs to its beholder. There is no guidebook, there is no medicine to alleviate every one of its side effects. It simply just exists, and trudging through the trenches, is the only way through it.
I despise many of my moments of grief. I loathe the feelings of loneliness, the countless nights of not sleeping, and the too-many moments of my young son watching me weeping in the floor, as I beg God to reverse His decision of taking my husband away from this Earth. I’m not proud of the many moments I escaped away from those wanting to comfort me, or the many instances I lashed out in anger, because no one else could possibly understand my pain, my anguish, my guilt that never seemed to end.
I’m also grateful for the journey. It has taken many times of telling our story, lots of prayers and scripture, and countless talks with God among friends to be able to say, “I am grateful for this journey.” I am grateful for the cancer brought into my life, right at the very moment it came. I am grateful for the hardships of being a new mommy and caregiver to my husband with Stage IV Colon Cancer. I am grateful for the humble experiences of relying on others to help us through financial difficulties and medical bills. I am grateful for every single moment of it all. And yet, it feels so strange to say that, “Yes, I am grateful for these things.”
I’m grateful because it changed me. Every ounce and breath of my soul–cancer and grief has changed. Some for the better, some not as much. However, as I stand here today, stronger, more passionate, more caring, more empowered, more empathetic towards others, I have found a purpose through grief. No, I do not wish I was in this club. No, I do not wish I was robbed of a lifetime of memories with my husband and our children. No, I do not wish I was a widow at the age of 25 and beyond. My purpose is for those that are hurting, those that are fighting, those that need a friend, someone who just gets “it,” someone that just needs to hear all of God’s promises.
I never dreamed God would give me this life–the bad, but especially the good. He did though. I am grateful for every moment of the good and the bad–without one, I cannot appreciate the other. The people I have met, the friendships I have made, the family I have accumulated through this journey, is unmatched–and you see, it isn’t over yet. The lessons I still have yet to learn, the people I still have not had the pleasure of meeting, the love and compassion I have yet to share with others.
It’s not easy–the road of grief we travel. It has no manual, it has no “normal.” The moment you can see you are a part of something bigger, something more, is a turning point in the journey though. That moment may be small, it may be a big “ah-ha” moment, but keep trucking through those trenches until you get there. I promise, it is so worth it. Mine happened almost four years after Joe was diagnosed with cancer, and nearly two and a half years after he passed away. Being apart of the Fight CRC organization that fights for a cure, early detection and prevention of colon cancer has brought countless blessings and purpose to my life. I never knew I needed this community of advocates that just “get it,” but I did. And somehow, I feel like others there needed me.
I don’t know what your moment of purpose will look like. Quite possibly, it will look entirely different than mine. It’s out there though. In it’s very own time, in it’s very own being, it will present itself if you look for it. Today, will you look around and see if there might just possibly be a purpose in your grief? No matter how small you think it might be, no matter how many lessons you might have learned, can you see God at work in your journey through grief?
Purposeful, Fighting for a Cure, Kristina