Today, my friend asked me if the pain of heartbreak and grief ever gets easier. Can we really overcome the pain of the past?
A valid question, my dear, for all of us.
To “overcome” means to prevail. To win. A triumph in full.
Perhaps I once believed that overcoming grief meant ridding myself of the ache that sat so unbudgingly permanent inside my chest. The only way to heal, I thought, was to relegate it as a dusty relic of the past, or to beat it, like a character on a video game.
I was wrong. That’s okay.
I have no interest in defeating grief.
Instead, I want to exist within it, to give the refining fire of grief ample room in my heart.
Not because I’m afraid of it.
Like fire, grief has a consumable power to destroy, to cause destruction and devastation in its wake.
However, fire also fortifies. Intense, powerful fire can temper structural metals, such as iron and steel, decreasing their hardness, yes, but making them even stronger and more flexible under its intense pressure.
This strengthening process gives us the abilities to absorb emotional aftershocks and crucial pain points with our own fortification through the power of grief.
Grief can take, but grief can give.
Let it do its work.
“I don’t think it gets easier,” I replied to my friend. “But we get stronger.”
In this way we win.
A triumph in full.