“Grief is nothing but a painful waiting, a horrible patience. Grief cannot be torn down or scaled or overcome or outsmarted. It can only be outlasted. Survival is surrender to the brick wall.” ~ Glennon Doyle Melton from the book “Love Warrior”

This January marked the 15th anniversary of my mother’s passing. On one hand it seems like it was an eternity that we were planning her lovely Celebration of Life on a dreary winter’s day. On the other hand, I feel as if I just kissed her forehead for the last time as my sister and I walked sullenly down the empty hall of the ICU….for the very last time. 

The most bizarre part of that morning was walking to our cars. It was a Monday morning around 7am. In the world of the masses, it was rush hour, but in our world, we had just lost the most important woman in our lives; our mom. As my boots crunched through frozen snow as I took each new step, I could hear a couple laughing in the background as they stood at the bus stop with a freshly brewed coffee in their gloved hands. You could tell they were smitten with one another as they carried on like two lovers swept up in the moment of bliss. On any other day, I would have been so fine with this and probably thought to myself ‘Oh…get a room!”. But today was not like any other day.. To me, the world just stopped, but to them, it was spinning like a summer roller coaster ride at the amusement park.

The truth is, grief is a magician!  It plays tricks on you and catches your attention when you least expect it.  It’s an illusion because there is nothing tangible to explain it, yet to the eye and to the heart, its wrath is very real!  There is no pattern to grief; no explanation.  It’s just something that is and something that does. No matter how much you try to fight it, block it, push it away or avoid it, grief will find its way back into your consciousness like a bee to pollen. It’s hold will caress anything and everything in its path with a gentle touch or a force to be reckoned with; it’s not something you can describe until you are in the thick of the hold it has on you.

Through both my parents’ deaths, I have learned to embrace and surrender to the brick wall that Glennon references in the above quote.  It’s true, grief can only be outlasted, because just when you think you’ve ‘got a handle on things’, something is said with innocence, or you hear a favourite song. You may see a beautiful picture, or unpack a favourite Christmas decoration. And within a split second, you are swept away in its grip like the event happened only yesterday.  In that moment, you realize that even though the pain doesn’t sear your gut like it used to, there’s still a little residue of this thing called grief. As time slowly and quickly passes, you notice it’s becoming a familiar friend instead of a painful spear to the soul that once lived inside your heart.  Thank goodness the outlasting is not an illusion, but a gift. That is…if you let it.

About Mandi

Married By Mandi

Mandi began her journey of personal development and spiritual awakening in 1991 when she discovered the world of entrepreneurship with a Direct Sales Company. Since then, Mandi has devoted her life to being a mentor, leader, teacher and lifelong earth school student, through her work as an Ordained Minister, Life Coach, Author and Volunteer.

Mandi has studied and trained with some familiar names in the personal development industry like Mary Morrissey and Bob Proctor. She earned her Professional Life Coaching designation through the Coaches Training Institute in 2007. Since that pivotal time in her life, Mandi has made it her mission to help women flourish in their personal lives and businesses. Through her transparent and authentic manner of creating a coaching partnership, Mandi’s clients begin to own their brilliance, see their worth and believe that they are enough! 

Mandi’s work as a non-denominational minister specializes in helping couples and families create unique, personalized and truly memorable ceremony experiences. She is best known for her business “Married By Mandi” which began in 2003. Since June of that year, Mandi has been part of the tapestry that has woven together many lives as she has officiated over fifteen hundred ceremonies, including weddings, baby blessings, vow renewals and celebrations of life.Mandi is also co-Founder of the Purse Project.  The Purse Project is an annual initiative created to provide women in local shelters and second stage housing with a new or gently used purse filled to the brim with items of need. Upon receiving this gift, it is their hope that each beautiful woman knows she is thought of and cared about by those in her community. Since being established in 2016, over 6,000 filled purses have been delivered to more than 30 local organizations in the Hamilton, Niagara and Halton area. “Fill a purse with LOVE and a woman’s heart with HOPE”.

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