Grief, Fear, and Transformation

After my Nana’s funeral in early June 2019, I made my way to the Spring River lot where our family gathers every summer. No one else was there, and I welcomed the time alone. I squatted down on the riverbank and touched the cold water, thinking how things would never be the same. When I looked up, a blue herring flew overhead, traveling upstream. This bird is a favorite of mine because it always appears when I need it – like a supernatural reminder that I’m not alone.

Great blue heron flying low above the water. (Image credit: Steve Johnson)

I felt comforted as I watched the herring until it was out of sight. I stood up, turned around, and gasped. Frozen in fear, I watched a black snake slither twelve feet in front of me, heading upriver like the herring but on shore. He had to be over a yard long. I watched it slip behind a tree without noticing me. I was afraid to move or make a sound as it continued on its way. After it was a safe distance up the riverbank, I walked quickly to my car, relieved it didn’t see me.

Little did I know that moment was a foreshadowing of things to come.

Southern Black Racer (Image credit: Sue Reno)

I have been living in fear since 2019 because it felt like everyone was dying around me. Nana. Granny. Queenie. Bo. Oliver. They all died between May 2019 and January 2020. Then the pandemic happened, which solidified that fear of losing more loved ones.

So, May of 2019 began this journey of grief and fearfulness. And in that grief came introspection. Introspection led to being a hermit. Being a hermit allowed for time to dig in, figure out, and reevaluate my thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. I feel like I’m making progress. Here it is September of 2022, and I’m slowly coming out of my shell. More than just a shell – a cocoon. That’s exactly what it’s been. It’s been a cocoon and a time of serious transformation for me. I was made aware at the beginning of the year that this is my year to transform.

Hermit Woman’s Shack – Red Dead Redemption 2

But it’s not over yet. There’s still more to come. I see it and while I’m apprehensive, I’m finally ready for it. I’m sick of living in a fearful state of mind. All of the time, I feel fear. Fear as soon as I wake. Fear before I go to sleep. Fear interrupting my thoughts. Fear demanding that I focus on worst-case scenarios. Fear keeping me frozen and hiding from the world.

This has been the most difficult time of my life. In many ways, it still is. I’ve withdrawn from family and friends because much of what I once believed no longer rings true. I’ve pulled into myself like a snail retreating into its shell or a caterpillar creating a cocoon. In doing so, I’ve been contemplating, soul-searching, and discovering much about my true self. It’s complicated, and I know there are those who don’t, won’t, and can’t understand – it’s not them, it’s me. I’m the one that’s changed. I’m the one who is once again on a new path, growing and evolving into the next phase of life. I no longer relate to many people and admittedly, it’s been horribly lonely. But then again, I’ve needed this time alone to pause, grieve, learn, and grow.

Image Credit: Karl Hedin on Unsplash

We are now in the last few months of 2022. While I know this change within won’t end with the beginning of 2023, I also know that these last few months could be extremely uncomfortable, as growth and change often are. There’s still more transformation to come. I’m ready to get rid of the fear and move forward with a new perspective and understanding. I’m ready to embrace the next phase of this life with an open mind and a grateful heart. I’m ready for the lessons that are sure to open doors to more wonder and wisdom. I’m ready.

Let it be so.

Image Credit: Adrien King on Unsplash

2 thoughts on “Grief, Fear, and Transformation”

  1. Beautifully written Amanda. I can say I went thru a lot of those things too several years ago and it felt terrible. I’ve always loved shopping,going out to eat and visiting family but it all stopped. I didn’t want to go anywhere at all and didn’t feel at ease being at home. I had to do a lot of soul searching and praying and finally open up to David about what I was going through and yes for me it was FEAR. I summoned my enter strength and lots of prayers and talking to my self I finally came back out of the dark hole I had buried myself in. Thank God for helping me come back to the living and enjoying life. I called mine depression and imprisoned. Yes I broke FREE.

    Liked by 1 person

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