Grief Begets Empowerment

In the five months since we said goodbye to you, each of us has seen our grief manifested in its own way. For me, grief has become a hard reality to face; realizing it can change from minute to minute is something to get used to. I’m not there yet.

What I have realized, however, is that my grief has led me to some hard and big decisions. In the last five months, I’ve fallen in love and learned to be patient. I’ve left a job in search of more and have found surprises along the way. I’ve moved house and found peace in living. I’ve become more aware, more at ease, and more alive than I ever thought possible—mostly because I thought I was doing pretty damn well before.

Throughout these last five months, I’ve learned bits and pieces about myself that make me proud to be a Cain. It is only now, however, that I’ve made the connections between the feelings I experienced earlier this spring and the lessons I’ve learned since June. Every step I’ve taken has echoed of something without me truly taking notice, which is exactly how you would have wanted it.

I don’t go about my daily business finding you in all the ins and outs of my life. I don’t think about you on an incredibly frequent basis. I don’t force myself to feel sad or glad or guilty. I just know, innately and with ease, that you are walking with me and are patting me on the back along the way.

So, here’s to you, dear Mr. Don Cain. Here’s to your quiet pride, to your chuckle of gratitude, and to your unending ability of being here without us even knowing it. I am so thankful that my grief has beget my own empowerment and that I am able to continue to love, live, and fight for what I believe in just as you taught me to do.