I’ve thought a lot about grief, and mourning, and loss. I’ve thought a lot more actively about it since I’ve been pondering how my grief journey has been, and how I can use my experience to help others who are going through that dark tunnel.
I want to balance offering hope, but also allowing space for pain.
I believe it’s so important to notice that grief has a purpose. The grief is there is so you can mourn the loss of your child. This is so important, because you have experienced something so difficult. Your pain is there because you loved your child so deeply.
I’ve heard recently, that grief is the emotions that come up in our bodies, and mourning, or I like to think of it as actively grieving is the way we process and release those emotions. Don’t be so afraid of the pain, and the loss. It gets tiring and exhausting because it hurts. And emotional pain is so tiring. Just be kind and gentle with yourself.
So, I want to say to you, that you grief and pain are valid. Your emotions you feel are valid. You don’t need to listen to anyone telling that you need to move on with your life. This is your life, and you get to choose how you are going to live it. You are the one who knows your pain deeply and fully, the people who are telling you to move on, and that you should be over it already do not understand.
It’s so important to know you are not alone, and that others also want to run away from their grief, others don’t know how they are going to keep going, others don’t know where to turn. You have joined a club you DID NOT choose to join. And there’s something sacred in knowing that.
So while I want you to honor your grief, and I want to support you in holding space for you pain. I also want you to know that there is hope. Not hope that other people who have not experienced this kind of pain want for you. I’m not offering hope that you will grieve, pick yourself up and move on and be done with that chapter of your life.
I want to offer you hope. The hope that comes after child loss. The hope that knows that you have experienced the worst and have been able to stand again. The hope that knows that life has extraordinarily hard moments, and it can also bring extremely happy moments. I want to offer you the hope, that knows its okay to cry for your child, and remember your child, even 30, or 40 years down the road.
The hope I want to offer you, is the ability to learn to love and live your life again. To see the changes that have come over you that have been a good change. I want you to see the hope that you CAN learn to carry this grief and pain that has come into your life.
You are stronger than you think. You can do hard things, even though I know you don’t feel like you can. I used to think I would just curl up and die myself if one of my children died. But I didn’t. I’m still here, and you are too. You can get through this. You do not need to ‘push’ through, or race to get through the finish line. You take the time you need, and only YOU can decide where you are going to go with your grief.
Any healing, any motivation to take steps to change your life, and to learn to live with your pain have to come from you. No one else can tell you to get over it. No one else can give that to you. So while I want to encourage you, that you will figure this out, you have to decide for yourself that you will. There is no time limit or time constraints, but the way to grieve and what you do with your time is up to you. That is the beauty of it, we all get to do our grief in our own way and that’s okay.
—Have you felt alone in your grief? Have you felt like nobody understands?
I’ve been there and I get it. I think you can never truly understand unless you have lost a child. Even then, we all have our own stories and our own grief.
I see you. I know you are in a dark hole. I know you feel crazy many a times, and you think you have to keep it all together. But allow yourself some room for grace and time to grieve. I put together a little guideline called- What to Except When You Are Grieving.
There are so many things, both physical and mental that are a common thread with grief no matter our story. I put as many as I could think of in this list, so you know that that sickness you have come down with? That is something that happens to many. The groceries you have a hard time buying? Totally normal.
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