As promised, I wanted to come back on here and kind of finish off my thoughts about grief and loss that I began during the holiday break. Feel free to head over to that specific blog post and check that out:
As I said, grief has been something particularly fresh in my life recently and I just wanted to talk about some of the insights and lessons that I learned from those experiences.
- Grief is like that one unique puzzle piece that you can’t replace.
People grieve over different things. Grief for you may be the wave of emotions after your dog died. For someone else it may be having to get a new house because the last house held so many pivotal memories for them. Failing a class, losing a loved one, going through a breakup- all of these things qualify as a reason to grieve. We don’t get to tell other people their grief is over exaggerated, unecessary or unimportant just because we do not understand it. The reasons why people grieve differ, and so do the ways they grieve. What works for you may not work for another and we have to be respectful of that. Sometimes it’s a trial and error situation to kind of see what makes you feel better in your particular situation and that’s okay.
- People won’t know what you need until you speak up.
Your feelings cannot be guessed. People will reach out and try to help you the way they think you need it. Often times we do to others what we would want done to us and that may not always be what that other person wants. For me, I got a lot of “I’m praying for you” “I’m sorry for your loss” texts and they didn’t really do much. What I needed at the moment was for someone to REALLY be there, instead of send me what they thought I wanted to hear. I wanted someone to force me to sit and cry, to talk about my loss, and tell me to stop putting it off. It’s hard, but you have to speak up. If want you need is a hug, a silent friend who is just physically there, some space-speak up and speak out. You are not alone. People want to help you, they just don’t know how.
- You must FEEL.
It’s important to let yourself feel the experience. A lot of times we are told to power through the pain because society often describes those who cry or react outwardly as weak or overdramatic. I love the movie Inside Out & how it portrays the emotions we feel. Joy has a hard time not taking control and she feels like the world may fall apart if the little girl is not happy. We often smile even when we don’t feel like it. We go to work and tell people we are okay when we aren’t because we think that’s what we are supposed to do. The negative emotions are scary but they’re important. Sadness, anger, rage, lonliness-you can’t learn from them until you experience tbem. Let the loss hit you- cry, be mad, FEEL. It’s okay.
- After you grieve, begin to rebuild.
The quickest way to heal is to get yourself unstuck and moving again. Often times taking some type of action really helps. For me there was a time period of just not leaving my bed, watching sad movies, lots of ice cream and poptarts and many tears. But after that I had to get up-start working out daily and the #HolidayCheerInABox project came about. You can’t internalize forever. Grieve, feel, but start living again. Like a field of flowers with different colors and shapes, life has its ups and downs, but we must embrace both. It will never be entirely okay. Things will not be the same, but they will get better. You will have good days but the point is you’re living again and you’re healing, which is important.
These were just a few thoughts I had during my most previous grieving process. I hope some of it helps anyone reading this who may be going through something. If nothing else just know that you are entitled to fell the way you feel for as long as you feel it and no one gets to dictate that. If someone around you is grieving I encourage you to love on them and ask them what they need from you.
As usual, feel free to sound off in the comments with any questions/concerns or thoughts you had. Tomorrow, I plan to post a short summary of my plans for this blog for the new year! The new love layout will be a lot of fun so stay tuned.
Until then, love more!