In one unending moment, you feel your world shift.
The truth seems to sink in, and the grief seeps through the crevasses of denial. You try to force reality away, and it’s justified. The loss of a loved one isn’t easy. The different shades of blue, the vivid yellows, and memorable purples appear as blurs in the distance, the conversations pondered start to condense… monochrome. The hollow feeling in your heart fills you up to the brim till you overflow. Tears slowly stream down your face.
Grief is unforgiving until we forgive ourselves.
There are books that will help you through the grief. But only some will be your shoulder to cry on. Laura Formentini lends her shoulder to you through her book, Twentyone Olive Trees, an ode to deliverance from grief.
The five stages
When experiencing grief, you may have heard the term “five stages of grief.”
What are these stages?
The human body responds to trauma. One can say it is a mechanism by which our body ensures its survival. Ironically, when the body is not nurtured, when the soul isn’t soothed… even those mechanisms fall apart.
Here’s how grief branches out….
Humans have an affinity for listening to things they want to hear.
What happens when they have to listen to something painful, not just for the body, but for the soul too? Soulmates are real. You don’t need to be romantically involved with someone to find your soulmate, as the cliché goes. You may find it in a friend, or you may find it in a person who you deem a bystander in your life. You may find them in the furry companion you see sleeping by your bedside.
Soulmates transcend time. Our author, Laura Formentini, knew hers.
Her son, Blaise, was Laura’s soulmate, and with every shard of memory she carried with her, she etched in the form of her book, Twentyone Olive Trees. But at its inception, Laura had to fight the first stage grief greets us with. We say we’re afraid to lose someone, and within those fears is the fear of knowing a world without them.
Denial is the soul’s last-ditch effort to dwell in a world that once was with them.
The color black suddenly brightens up, with an adrenaline rush. It blushes and reddens. With your heart thumping, you slowly open the door to sabotage. And one of the most prominent byproducts of sabotage is anger.
The feeling of helplessness makes your thoughts see-saw between rationality and insanity. You search for a reason for life’s injustice. We often blame others, sometimes the person passed, or even the beholder.
It comes like a rush and goes with a murmur. If denial doesn’t make you falter, anger will most likely try to get the best of you, whereas the ones you love get to see the worst of you.
As the carnage from the chaos of anger is noted, it finally begins to sink in.
You ask yourself questions that should’ve been asked before. You negotiate without any contract. You bargain without a bargaining chip. You scratch and claw to get your way back. And their t-shirt stretches, pulling away little by little until you finally have to let go.
Things become harder to swallow—every spoonful of food, every consolation from the ones you love. Laura Formentini describes the most challenging aspect of her struggle to be the feeling of having enormous amounts of energy stuck within, debilitating.
The negotiations fall apart before they even begin.
Things seem bluer than normal—a deep depressing sort of blue. Your eyes dried up, and your soul was exhausted. You feel numb to the world around you. Disappointment and hopelessness whisper in your ear, reminding you of what has been lost.
This is where anxiety manifests itself in your life. Overwhelmed and overburdened by what is to come, you lose the will to fight.
You walk into the garden where you once played with them and sit.
Look closer at your hand, and you shall find.
The reason why your fate unwinds.
A seed that may not look to be much, you find the only thing left in the aftermath.
You finally accept that the storm has passed.
Acceptance is the shortest part of the road but the most giving. Laura Formentini found herself writing throughout her journey through grief into one that finally led to her accepting that her son has now left his mortal body behind.
She sowed the seed.
We all will reach a point where we will be given an opportunity to move on. It may seem daunting. But it is important to remember that that is how it’s intended to be.
You take your first step into a new world without them…
Unless you sow that seed, dampening in tears you leave behind; it’ll nourish.
They never left; for now, they are hope.
This is the message Laura Formentini gives with her book. Make it your companion through your journey of grief into an olive tree today.
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