Hi my friends,
If you’ve been reading the blog for a period of time, you know that my dad unexpectedly passed away 14 years ago. I’ve shared my thoughts about unexpected passing and how I manage my relationship with grief, and this week I wanted to share some of my reflections and thoughts in how grief shows up in my life, even after all these years.
Before experiencing such a difficult loss, I held the impression of the old adage that time heals all wounds. I thought that we human beings can get over anything that happens to us, if we just power through it, and one day, the pain might disappear all together.
But after 14 years, I know that this is just not the case. Grief still comes in waves. I still get pangs of pain from the loss that cannot be replaced. There is a loneliness that comes from knowing that the one person who would understand something cannot be reached. There is sadness that comes from missed milestone moments. There is the anxiety of holding on to every memory because you know they are finite and cannot be replaced.
All of this still comes up for me, and after all this time, I know that this is okay. I’m actually grateful for it because my grief is a tether to something special. And I wouldn’t want that to go away, to be honest.
It has been immensely helpful for me to deeply know this as truth: grief is not a life experience that you push through, it’s a layer of life that becomes a part of you. And ultimately, it’s up to you how you relate to it, tend to it, and allow it to operate within your life.
Having this perspective about grief greatly changed my relationship with it. It shifted from feeling at the mercy of the unrelenting waves, to being an equal partnership. It is with this awareness that allows for the space to have a choice of how you want to engage with the dynamic, and it ultimately allows for more compassion and understanding within yourself.
Rather than pushing it aside or feeling ashamed, I embrace it.
Remember, grief is the reminder that love was present, and even if that love is no longer in its original form, that love still exists.
If you’re going through a loss and experiencing grief, I invite you to sit with yourself and tap into how you want your relationship with grief to look. See if there are places in your life where you can honor and embrace the grief that shows up, as the placeholder of what was. And ultimately know, that this process is so deeply personal and unique to you. Know that however you move through it is perfect and beautiful.