Welcome to the Dark Side of Grief

“If only you knew the power of the Dark Side.” ~ Darth Vader

These ominous words portend a foreboding presence.  Power and darkness come together to create a daunting force.  It is a force I wish I had never known. It is a force that robbed me of my very spirit.  It’ss a force that dominated my life for months – and years – that followed my husband’s death.

More than three years would pass before I would even begin to feel a desire to live again.  Until then, I found the thundering aloneness disarming.  The realization that Mike and I would not be living out our lives together as planned left me traumatized.  I did not know how to stop saying “we” or “us,” and each time I uttered those words, it was a jolting reminder of the fact that there was no longer a “we” or an “us.”

I would soon discover the power of the dark side, the dark side of grief.

Grief is Powerful

Darth Vader has nothing on grief.  They are both powerful and dark.  They both threaten to bring us down and shake us up in ways we never dreamed possible.  And they persist in a cloud of misfortune and negativity that exudes an ominous feeling.

I have experienced the dark side of grief.  I have felt it when shrouded in black, as I wandered through a bleak midwinter. The dark side of grief dictates, “The third year is the worst” or “Grief never ends.” I have felt it when the phrase “Life is meant to be shared” does not apply anymore.  I have felt it in serious physical manifestations of emotional scars.  I have felt it while staring out a window, seeing a neglected garden with no bluebirds.

But that is just the dark side of grief.  I know that now.  There is the other side, full of light and healing.  There is a goodness in grief, and I found it.  I found blessings in the darkness just waiting to be discovered. Darth Vader must reckon with the force, and grief must reckon with love.

Excerpted from Gail Norwood’s book Escape from Grief Prison: A Story of Love, Loss, and Healing: Norwood, Gail: 9781638146216: Amazon.com: Books