My dear friends,
A few years ago I felt pulled to write a blog about my grief surrounding the unexpected death of my dad. It’s one of my favorite blog posts to date because oddly enough, I like to talk about grief. It’s been almost 15 years since my dad passed away, and if there’s anything I’ve learned in those 15 years is that grief doesn’t go away. And I would never want it to. I hold my grief close because it serves as a tether to the past and to what is no longer, and though the feelings of grief are not always easy for me to process, they remind me that ultimately the pain stems from a love that simply shifted form.
I wrote my old blog on grief (click here to read it) around Easter time, so it makes a lot of sense that I’m writing this one now. I always think of my dad at this time; we spent so much time together at Easter. This is a time of year that I feel his presence even more.
No one goes through life untouched by grief, but we just never know when it will enter our lives. In some ways, I feel immense gratitude for these years, since his death, to form a stable relationship with my grief. I am well-versed in it, but I know that there are so many at this time who are new to the overwhelming pain and loss.
This week, I want to touch on some hopefully helpful suggestions, when managing grief. I offer these reminders from my own personal experience,
- Release yourself from any timeline. I used to think that I had exactly one year to grieve. As that one-year mark approached, I felt so much shame that I wasn’t “over” my loss. Letting myself out of a timeline let me off the hook. It allowed me to grieve in my own way and in my own time.
- Remember that no feeling is ever final. What might feel insurmountable in this moment will shift, eventually. While I don’t necessarily agree that time heals wounds, I do think that as time passes our wounds begin to transform. Feelings are never stagnant, and I often find hope in knowing that each new moment provides an opportunity for transformation.
- You don’t have to explain or apologize for your sadness. Allow yourself to be messy in your grieving if that’s what you feel called to do. No one is owed an explanation for your emotions, especially when you’re processing sadness and deep loss.
- Ask for help when it feels too much. There is so much benefit to be found when you have the courage to ask for support. I relied heavily on my therapist and my closest friends and family during my deepest moments of grief, and still do to this day.
If you’re struggling with grief and loss, please know that you are not alone. Sending hugs to whoever may need them.