Be Crumbled, Be Changed

Inside each of us there’s a continual autumn.
Our leaves fall and are blown out over the water, a crow sits in the blackened limbs and talks about what’s gone.
There’s a necessary dying, and then we are reborn breathing again.
Very little grows on jagged rock. Be ground.
Be crumbled so wildflowers will come up where you are.

A month before my mom died, my life looked pretty darn good on paper. Own my own business, doing something good for the world, check. Great friends, check. Surrounded by creativity and enjoying lots of travel, check. In a loving (albeit new) relationship, check.

But the moment I found out my mom died, I felt like a derailed train coming to a screeching halt. I became instantly intolerant of trivial crap — and for a while, everything seemed like trivial crap. I didn’t care about client emails or texts about the next party. I began to view the clutter of daily life with a new lens – a lens that showed the glaring truth of over-inflated egos and an overall lack in meaning. I wanted nothing to do with any of it. All I craved was connection and love. 

I was faced with a choice. I could choose to fight to keep life-as-I-knew-it intact, or I could choose to listen, to be crumbled and be changed.

I wrote to a friend:

"[I'm] feeling defeated and sad and like I can't live my life the way it is anymore. I can't handle dealing with the self-made stress...what I was once so excited about is just falling apart. And when I try to get the energy to put it back together I just can't do it. I don't have an ounce of heart for it and everything is feeling forced..."

Somewhere, deep down, I knew my mother’s death was catapulting me into a different direction. There would be no “back to normal”. There would only be a new normal, and a new me.

That is not to say it wasn’t (and isn’t) hard as hell to ride the waves of change. Even with a deep understanding that my life change was inevitable, and even for the better, I didn’t want it. I wept to think I couldn’t hug my mom again. I felt the despair of being orphaned at 32 years of age, with the second half of my foundation ripped from beneath me. And I cried as I watched my business fall apart before my eyes – it was my baby, built from scratch and nurtured for five years. I was losing a big part of my “self”. I made several attempts to keep my business alive which left me feeling weak and lifeless again. The time came when I did not have the energy to fight.

My point? When I truly listened to my heart and gut, I knew I needed to BE CRUMBLED and BE CHANGED. There was no fighting this one. I needed to allow my grief to change me. For me, that meant changing my career, moving back to my childhood home, and letting go of a ton of “stuff”- including my business – that was no longer serving me. It meant letting go of a sense of self that was based on external factors and motivations, and not the true me.

I challenge each person affected by loss or grief to be crumbled and to allow yourself to change. Find out what that change looks like for you. I promise you it’s not going to be easy and it’s not going to be pretty, but when the seasons pass and spring comes again, don’t be surprised when wildflowers come up where you are.

With Love,


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6 comments on “Be Crumbled, Be Changed
  1. marie alfonsi says:

    This is a lovely post. Thank you for sharing. Anyone who has been touched deeply by grief will nod in understanding. You are changed forever. Love and connection is what it’s all about and like you said, wildflowers will come up 🙂

  2. Thanks for your thoughts marie! Here’s to welcoming the change.

  3. lucadorosmom says:

    So much of what you say speaks directly to what I’m feeling right now. Allowing grief to change me. Losing Luca has forever changed us and I am become more and more grateful for it. I crumble. xoxo, c

  4. Beautiful. Your letter to your friend reminds me that in order to make it through a stressful, painful situation, often times we just have to relax and let go of the notion that we are in control. Let go of the notion that if we push harder we can “fix it”. For “it” is life, and “it” is the thing that carries us along, molding and shaping us as we go. We most certainly do have to allow ourselves to crumble occasionally. To remain still, and calm, and let “it” do the work that it’s so desperately trying to bless us with.

    Thank you for this blog. It is so helpful and inspiring.

  5. PG Dharma says:

    I know the feeling of being catapulted into a new life by unexpected circumstances. I was lucky in that my mother survived her stroke, and as a result, I have had the time to be with her and appreciate her in a new way. But as she is different, and everything is different, I too had that moment when I had to choose between clinging to I had built up to that moment or surrender to what was to come, unclear as to what it even would be. It, and your post, are great reminders of how impermanent everything is…

    • Having so many unknowns ahead often brings about grief – it’s like we, as humans, can only handle so many unknowns at once. (even though, in reality, it’s all unknown!)

2 Pings/Trackbacks for "Be Crumbled, Be Changed"
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  2. […] to practice this “art” when my mother passed. As I wrote in my earlier blog post,  Be Crumbled, Be Changed, I surrendered to my grief, not over-philosophizing or compartmentalizing my mom’s passing, […]