Who we are before, and who we are after. The two are never the same.
I have lost before in my life, big losses that shook my heart to pieces, yet even in the shaking my heart was strong enough to stay whole. This loss however, is different. Who I was before, how my heart beat before, is gone.
I knew this change from watching others, from hearing of their heartbreaks, yet I never really knew this change until I changed.
There was before Mea, when colors were vibrant, hope always bubbled to the top, and peace was the well I knew my toes could always dip into for cooling the heat of life. And now there is after Mea.
After Mea no grassy field in summertime will ever look the same again, no blooming spring flower will ever smell the same. For though I know that someday this grayness will not hang like a threatening storm over my life, the vibrancy will never return in the same way again.
Losing a child changes a woman, changes a mother, and we can never be the same after that losing. And that is the way of life, it always moves us forward, and sometimes steps forward mean steps away from who we were before.
Recently a dear friend and I saw a play at a local theatre company, and during that play the lead actress said repeatedly “by a fall I rise,” and so too with the loss of Mea, by this fall I will rise. Yet who I am in the rising cannot be the same woman as who I was in the falling; that woman is gone forever.
With life’s major losses there is a before and after, who we were before the day, the moment, the event, that was our tipping point – the one mountain we couldn’t scale without falling to our knees in desperation, all strength, all hope, all faith gone – and there is who we were after we realized that we had no other choice but to get up and ever so slowly resume our climb, a little more empty, heart a little bit harder, and the light of hope a little bit dimmer.
Those two women are never the same because by an Eiffel Tower fall, a different woman rises from the hard cement below, and it is in allowing and acknowledging the changing that we find the ability to accept and move on.