Grieving is an inevitable part of life. We grieve when loved ones pass. We grieve when we transition to new phases of life. We even grieve when we lose objects. How we move forward after losing anything or anyone is as unique as we are. But there are common themes that we share. And we all have a grief story.
Recently, I had a chance to talk with Marie Weddle, my good friend of 22 years, about her story of grief. She lost her mom in her early 20s which shattered her core sense of self. Her mom was her compass. Without a way to navigate life, what would she do?
Marie ended up taking the advice of a friend who said, "Come visit me in Michigan." She stayed for a couple weeks and found herself enrolling in a Master's degree at Michigan State University. That's how we met!
But as she was discovering her new path, the grief was still there, running in the background. Marie shared that she never really received any tools for dealing with grief. It wasn't something that her elders shared. And the culture in which she grew up certainly didn't provide any meaningful training on how to move through grief. And so, grief, and a lost sense-of-self, came with Marie.
As Marie walked her newly chosen path, she started to discover pieces of her core. She made decisions, tried career directions, got married, had kids, and moved with her husband to Maryland. In that move, she realized she'd taken herself away from the community and she'd was once again separated from all the things that resonated with her core self.
The marriage didn't work out. And she once again needed to navigate back to herself. Allowing her core to direct her, she started to build a new life that remained true to who she is. Although Maryland might not be her forever home, she is continuing to build a life around her authentic self. In a lot of ways, it was because she lost her mom that she has been allowed to discover who she is and create a life that honors that core sense of self.
And although she continues to grieve the loss of her mom and now her dad, just in the last year, Marie shares that the relationship she has with her parents continues in ways she never could have anticipated. Although she continues to craft a life that is authentic to her core self, she's ever aware of the fact that she is the product of her parents. And so, she walks her path knowing exactly who she is and from where she came.
You can watch our conversation below.