A Thoughtless Love Pt.2

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: 

A Thoughtless Love Pt. 1

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! 



        A Thoughtless Love❤️

        One doesn’t necessarily have to be a psychology major to learn about the five stages of grief by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. People are generally aware of the fact that grieving is a process and although those five steps offer a sort of framework, grief does not look the same for any two people.

        2016 Was the first year that I lost someone close to me.  In the years before. I had been told acquaintances had passed and I had attended a few funerals, but nothing that really hit me close to home.  This year however, I lost three really awesome people- 2 gradually to cancer. And one very suddenly to an unforseeen health issue.  I learned some invaluable lessons as a result of losing all three of them, but I felt like my grieving process was halted on one of the cases.  An old teacher and a close family friend Velda Cobb-Brown has been gone for a year now, and dealing with that hadn’t been easy. I would say I am beyond the sadness, denial, and bargaining, but I felt kinda stuck at the anger phase.  I was angry at God for taking someone who seemed to be doing all the right things from a Christian perspective, angry at myself for notbeing home and for choosing to stay at school and take finals even as the funeral went on at home last December.  A year later, I was mad I didn’t tell her how much she meant to me when she was here and I didn’t reassure her that her girls would be loved because I just assumed she knew. 

        Being back home after college I hadn’t really seen her kids or her husband and that anger morphed into guilt for not being there for them.  Then I realized how much of it was about me. Things change when you stop thinking about yourself and step into someone else’s shoes.  I knew I had to do something with the holidays coming up and I couldn’t stop thinking about holidays for small children without a mother.  My mom is in all my best holiday memeories and I can’t imagine her not being there.  My desire to share some sort of love with all of these families, the need to feel like I was actively doing something about my grief, and the result of too many hours on Pinterest gave me an idea.

          I entitled it #HolidayCheerInABox.  The basic idea was to put together holiday gift baskets for the two kids in each family, not because I thought it would ever erase the pain of holidays without their mother, but because I hoped it would give them a reason to smile even for a few seconds.  I’m still working on building the boxes now and putting things inside them, but I’ve bought lots of fun gift cards and added one of those 365 jar things- again Pinterest inspired– I wanted to fill the jars with as many notes of happiness as possible: bible verses, encouraging quotes, inspiring lyrics, jokes, and just personal notes.  Ideally, I wanted the kids to be able to reach into this jar in any given day that they feel a little low on love and maybe borrow a little extra love through a note from someone else.  I decided to open up the project to the community and I got so much help it shocked me.  People donated money, wrote notes, and even offered to help me put baskets together.  Most of these people I think on some level were also dealing with their own grief and trying to find a way to help the families too.  In trying to help someone else, I ended up helping myself and helping others. 

        So a few days ago I left all my notes for the #HolidayCheerInABox project in my desk at work (I love that hashtag). If you’ve ever worked with kids of any age, you know what a bad idea that is because they want to see everything, read everything, be apart of everything And touch everything. One of my 8th grade students picked up the paper and read a few notes.  For the next hour, he was nagging me to explain the project to him.  I wasn’t sure what to say, or not say, but he’s easily one of the most persistent 13 year olds I’ve ever met so I had to come up with something fast.  I told him I have a few friends who lost their mom and that I was creating gift baskets to make them feel a little better.  Immediately, he wanted to be apart of it.  I must have redirected him back to math 5 or 6 times but he kept asking, “what can I do Ms. M, I wanna help!”  Eventually I told him to bring his favorite snack for me to add to the basket.  I knew his heart was in the right place, but I assumed he would forget. Most 13 year olds I know are concerned with food, Pokémon, maybe girls, video games and friends- some. Arely even remember to bring last night’s homework to class let alone something else. The next day there was not one, but two acts of candy lying on my desk.

        My heart was overwhelmed and I choked up a little bit at how much love this kid had.  He didn’t ask how this death occurred, how old the kids were, what they looked like-nothing.  He saw a problem and he wanted to help, without even knowing who he was helping. 

        What if we all had a love like that? What would that look like in the world? What if we loved on the homeless, the destitute, or just those around us who Are hurting everyday, whether we know them or not?  What if we were all as impulsive as this kid was when in came to reaching out and being there did our fellow man.  I imagine a world like that is about as close to heaven or whatever utopia you believe in, as we can get. When crosses all boundaries and just moves, it’s beautiful thing because much like small children, it does not discriminate.   

        I hope this story brought you as much comfort as it brought me.  I know the holidays are not always so effortlessly happy for those of us missing someone who was always apart of them before.  In my next post I will share a few things I learned about grief through the last year, so stay tuned.  Until then, love as much as you can and as hard as you can, without second thought. 

        As always feel free to sound off in the comments with your thoughts, questions, and concerns. Have you lost anyone thatyou particularly  remember every holiday season? How do you combat that and for those of you with kids how do you help them do that? How do you think we go from little kids who love others without second thought to becoming adults who are mostly only focused on themselves? This post was particularly hard to write so thanks for reading!