“I am different.
Completely different than before.
There are two versions of myself.
One when my mother was alive and one after she passed.
The two are joined, and related, but they are completely different beings.
They house some of the same traits and characteristics, but as an entirety, they are completely separate.
For the longest time, I couldn’t figure out why I no longer fit in parts of my life.
The life I had created for myself.
The life I loved.
I couldn’t figure out why some of my relationships, projects, aspirations, and priorities no longer made sense.
Some no longer mattered.
Some became uncomfortable and some faded.
My mother died and things changed.
I was different.
Life was different.
Grief takes a person and bursts them into pieces.
Exposing them, recreating them, and forcing them to transform.
The person that stood before grief came, is not the person that stands once grief has entered.
Evenmore, the person that rises from the shattered pieces, is an even different person than the two before.
Once I realized the brokenness of grief,
the transformation of grief,
the healing…the journey…the recreation…
I stopped running from grief and the changes caused by it.
I took a good look in the mirror and the woman that stood there.
Staring past the pain and into the future.
I stopped chasing the girl I was before my mother passed, and started comprehending the beauty in the painful transformation.
I learned to appreciate the new woman that had emerged.
Sure, she is different, but she is mighty and bold and resilient.
She took the most immense pain of her life and she turned it into a project for betterment.
It manipulates and molds.
It shapes and contours.
It changes the makeup of our soul and the contents of our hearts.
It transforms people in ways that are both excruciating and also monumental.
Once I acknowledged grief’s transformation, I stopped searching for the girl I once was.
The one that had a mother.
I stopped searching for the girl with the mom and the memories, for she no longer existed.
Instead, I started respecting the girl who survived losing her mother.
I started appreciating the grit in her growth and the resilience in her heart.
Grief provides seasons of transformation.
First into darkness, and then into the light.
First into despair, and then into repair.
It will break you.
It will steal your breath and parts of your future, but then it will make you new and pave a new path.
One day you’ll wake up feeling less broken, but still bruised.
You’ll wake up and feel nothing like you used to, and it will be confusing and beautiful and crafted by love.
Love, time, and patience rebuild.
Be patient, your reconstruction will come.
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Chelsea Ohlemiller of Indianapolis, Indiana. You can follow her journey on Facebook, Instagram, and her blog. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
Read more from Chelsea:
‘To my ex-husband’s family: You didn’t have to continue loving me, but you do.’: Woman pens emotional letter to in-laws, ‘You’ve turned unfortunate circumstance into something beautiful’
‘Instead of packing the car for a fun weekend with grandma, we came here, to the cemetery. This is where we must visit her now.’: Woman loses mom, says we should ‘let grandparents spoil our kids while they still can’
‘I used to yell. It was the only way to get his attention. One day, I stopped. I simply whispered, ‘I’m leaving. I’m filing for divorce.’ He barely looked up.’: Woman urges ‘find a life loud in love’
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