Grief has been on my heart and mind for a while now and I decided to go ahead and talk about it because maybe what I’m going through someone else is going through it too and you never know who you’ll bless. Grief, just like healing, ebbs and flows. Some days, I’m good. Other days, I’m a mess. From looking at my social media, I can tell that others are feeling the same way. Hell, one of the bloggers I follow (and former high school classmate) is dealing with the death of her father from COVID (we’re still in a pandemic people)! In fact, a Facebook post inspired this blog today!
So what is grief? Basically it is deep sorrow, especially caused by someone’s death. However, it doesn’t have to be limited to death, we can grieve all types of situations! You can grieve relationships (romantic, platonic, family) that ended, your former self, loss of (and in) your community, traditions gone, and of course death. Grief is not linear. It ebbs and flows. I know for me, it’s been hitting me a lot lately, but it really hits me when change is happening or if I’m feeling low.
For example, lately, I’ve been missing my childhood. I went home recently and I can tell you, things felt off. It didn’t feel like the same house I grew up in. I’ve been getting flashbacks to when I was growing up, when I was reading in the living room, all the way down to just going in the kitchen. I would especially get these flashbacks late at night when I’m going to bed. I miss not having all of these issues that I have now. I miss being a kid, free from any real responsibility. I miss my grandfather as he was my father figure. Sometimes, I feel sad because I’m starting to forget what he sounded like. It makes me so sad that he’s not here anymore. When I went home in June, I felt really hurt and a sense of loss.
Something else I grieved was the loss of my friendships and relationships. Yeah my family has hurt me in the past, but I’m still sad that things didn’t work out the way I planned. I thought we would be tight forever, but it can’t and won’t happen. I understand that things happened the way that they were supposed to. They weren’t good to me and while it’s not okay, I’m far better off without them. What I learned is that not everyone deserves access you. Forgive them (check out this post) and move on.
Grief comes in many forms. Maybe we grieve a marriage or loving relationship that is ending. Maybe you are freeing yourself from a toxic family member or friendship. Maybe you’re changing your religion. Maybe you have to mourn the person you once were. Maybe there’s an illness that affects your life and you have to adjust to new circumstances. Maybe you loss a pet. Maybe you lost a loved one. Maybe you lost your faith. There’s plenty of things to grieve. The question is: what are you going to do about it?
What can you do to help yourself with grief?
- Therapy! Talk to a professional! There’s online counseling now or you can go to a therapist in person. The point is, talk to a therapist. It doesn’t make you weak.
- Acknowledge your pain. Don’t ignore it, it will only make you feel worse!
- Take care of yourself physically as well as emotionally. In our grief sometimes we tend to let ourselves go. Working out can help you get those endorphins going. Eating a healthy meal can do wonders for you. Writing things out can help as well.
- Accept help. People care about you. Let them help you. Rest when you can
- Talk about it. I know I mentioned going to therapy but you really should share your thoughts with a loved one. You’ll be surprised who’d be there for you and how better you’ll feel afterwards. Remember, you’re not a burden. People care for you and love you.
- Understand that grief can manifest in different ways. Your grief will show up and show out in many different ways. You might become forgetful. Maybe you’re lashing out more or even more withdrawn. You might not be able to sleep or maybe you’re sleeping more. Point is, it can show up in different ways. Be aware of it.
- Embrace your grief. Don’t fight it or try to ignore it. Let yourself feel your grief.
- Forgive yourself and others. The past is in the past. We can only accept things for what they are now and plan your next move. Think about what your past situation taught you.
- Pray. Ask God to help you and he will help you. Jehovah God is close to those who are broken-hearted (Psalm 34:18). He loves you and cares for you.
What has helped you with grief? What advice resonates with you?