The Wind Has a Cousin  

As I sit listening to the wind rattle my office windows, I wonder at its power and effect on other objects. How could such an invisible force cause such a ruckus? We are all very familiar with the damage the wind can cause. Most of the time wind recalls a bad hair day or a destructive storm. However, wind is much more nuanced than that.

Wind is Soundless

Have you considered the sound of the wind? The noise we hear when the wind blows is not the wind itself, but the friction of air with objects in its path. Think of the “whoosh” heard when you drive with the windows down. In a slight breeze, you will hear leaves and grass shifting and rubbing together in gentle movement. The sound you hear is not the wind, but a mere reaction of the objects it touches.

Wind is Faceless

What does the wind look like? It doesn’t have a face. The wind is visibly indiscernible until it touches an object making it move, like when it blows your outdoor furniture off the porch. Sometimes we get a close-up look at objects moved by the wind…ever had sand blown in your eye? Yeah, not cool. You can’t see the wind, only its effects on other objects.

Wind is a Modifier

The wind is an invisible energy that changes things in its path. Living in Texas, we see examples of this all the time, especially in the Panhandle. Trees are so battered by the wind that they grow at a slant rather that straight up and down. Wind smooths and shapes rock formations in the New Mexico and Arizona deserts. It causes flags to fly and whip about until they gradually wear out. The wind is a force that wears on objects making permanent alterations to their shape and structure.

Wind is a Mode of Transportation

The wind is often credited with transporting seeds, especially of the dandelion, to new locations and therefore promoting new growth. Also, the wind transports birds, hot air balloons, and hang-gliders effortlessly through the sky. It propels objects to new places with its natural, boundless energy.

Wind has a Cousin…Grief

Wind can be analogous to grief. Remember that grief is not only a result of death, but is also a result of other losses – divorce, disappointments, job transitions, etc.

Grief is Soundless

Like wind, grief is soundless, an internal force that often prompts external reactions. Crying, sighing, angry outbursts, and verbal cues such as “Why???” and “I think I’m going crazy!” are sounds, like wind friction, that result from grief.

Grief is Faceless

What does grief look like? Like the wind, grief has no face, but becomes visible through its effects on an individual. Forgetfulness, distractedness, sleep disturbance, change in eating habits, actions contrary to normal behavior, stomach problems, trembling and fatigue are a few of many signs that may indicate grief. You may not be able to see grief, but it becomes visible through many emotional, physical, mental and behavioral responses.

Grief is a Modifier

Grief changes people. As wind modifies the shape and structure of objects, grief transform its subjects. Following a huge loss in my life, I was tossed into a windstorm of grief that took me down a path I never would have imagined. First, all I could feel was numbness, then a dull, physical ache in my body. As my world rocked and twirled out of control, a different person began emerging. One who was stronger, tenaciously focused, and deeply passionate about helping others when their lives took a turn for the worst. Along this journey of grief, I was transformed into a more empathetic, resilient, passionate person.

Grief is a Mode of Transportation

Grief serves as a propeller for the next stage in life. After hitting rock-bottom, I had nowhere to go but up!  I took a significant risk, gave up what little I had, and pursued a dream. My grief motivated and inspired me to reach for more in life. It transitioned me to a new chapter where I took risks and enjoyed life more than ever before.

Grief. . .Wind

Like the wind, grief is a force of nature that will rattle our windows from time to time. It may affect us in “bad hair day” proportions or it may feel like a storm of massive destruction. Either way, we must remember that grief is a natural and necessary process. If we allow the natural progression to take place…meaning allow ourselves to hurt, cry and fall apart…we will come out stronger and better. Let grief propel you to your next chapter…one where you will appreciate life more, love deeper and see things in a new light.

Written by Brittany Carrington

©2018 Putnam Funeral Home and Crematory, LLC

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Sandra Burns
Sandra Burns

Thank you, Brittany for this remarkable and perceptive comparison of wind and grief.

It touched my heart in so many ways tonight and I am grateful for your friendship.