I wrote this a back in May 2020, only 9 months into my grief journey. I still feel the same way 5 months later.
I just want to take a minute and talk about grief. I’m curious why grief is talked about so little. Why is this not something people discuss? We all will or all have experienced grief. Yes, our grief will be different, but if you are human you will experience it at one time or another. Sometimes we grieve the loss of a pet or a home. Maybe the loss of a parent, friend, or sibling. Maybe a miscarriage or loss of a child. A grandparent, a neighbor, an aunt, an uncle, Or maybe in my case you lose your partner your best friend your husband and the father to your children. You get the picture.
One thing that I do know for certain is that every single life will end at some point, and that will start the grieving process for another person. No one teaches us how to grieve or what to expect while grieving. Someone may tell you their grief journey, And you can take some notes, but I can promise you that won’t be your grief journey. Maybe you can prepare for how you think you will grieve, but just like any other situation life gives us you won’t know how you will react until you are living it. So why don’t we open the conversation about grief? Why don’t we make it more normal?
Let me tell you what my experience has been like. I promise it was nothing like yours, and I promise it was nothing like I could’ve predicted. I did things I never would have thought I would’ve done. Things I would’ve easily judged others for doing. I also survived the biggest tragedy in my life to date. I did what I could to get through each day. Maybe one of these days I’ll write a book describing it all. For now I just want people to understand when you are grieving you are doing what you can to survive the hand you’ve been dealt.
For me this was the thing that helped the most: people reaching out even if it was as simple as a text message, just to let me know that someone was thinking of me. The phone calls the visits the cards all of those things helped, because I knew someone cared.
For me the the thing that did not help: not reaching out, because you didn’t know what to say, or because you didn’t want to make me sad, or you thought I was probably being taken care of by someone else and I didn’t need one more person checking in on me.
I needed each and every check in no matter how big or how small. No matter how often, and no matter when. It’s never too late to check on someone who is grieving. Trust me just because you see us smiling we are still hurting. We just don’t talk about it!
The people who were there for me checking on me regularly allowing me the space to live the way I needed to without judgment will forever be the most amazing people in my life. If you’re one of them you know because I’ve told you.
That’s another thing tell people you love them and why you love them. Make it mushy make it uncomfortable, but make it genuine and honest. You’ll never once regret telling someone how much they mean to you.
Anyway back to grief. Here’s the thing I’m nine months into my grief journey. I’m just a grief baby but I have learned a few things.
- You don’t get over it you learn to live with it. It is now a part of you. It’s just as much a part of you as anything else. I promise you one thing there is not one single day that goes by that I don’t think about Jason, and I don’t know if there ever will be. My loss is part of me. My grief is part of me.
- It does become manageable. If you take those moments when grief comes out of nowhere and knocks your feet right out from under you like a big tidal wave, let it. Sit knocked over on the floor and feel those feelings. Embrace them. Get sad, get angry, laugh whatever you need to do to feel. Then get up and keep moving forward.
- When you’re ready reach out to others who are grieving. Trust me they are all around you. You never know when someone will need you or you will need them.
- Talk about your loved one. Yes they died, but they also lived. Jason lived 40 years, 15 of those were with me. There is a lot more to his story than his death, and his life should be celebrated and remembered and talked about.
- Live your life and do what’s best for you don’t let others tell you how to grieve.
- Seek help if you need it. At one point I was seeing three different therapist\counselors. Battling grief takes effort, and work to go through. There is absolutely no reason to do it alone or without help.
- Talk about it. Please just talk about it there are people who want to help, and don’t know how. Just tell them to listen. You just talk! Get it out! It’s OK your thoughts are normal your fears are normal your behaviors are normal and you will be OK.
Life will never be the same again, but it can still be ok and good and beautiful just keep going. Also remember pain loss and sorrow are all a part of life too. Just don’t get stuck or lost in it.
Talk about it
Get it out
Just keep going.