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Let's talk about Grief..

Normally a subject that most people try to avoid but the reality is, you can’t get away from it no matter how hard you try.

Grief is defined as the response to loss, particularly to the loss of someone or some living thing. Although it mainly focuses on emotional response, it also plays out physical, behavioral, social, spiritual..

They say there are five stages to grief:

  1. Denial- this can’t be real

  2. Anger- extreme emotional discomfort, trying to adjust to the new reality

  3. Bargaining- “God if you do this, I will..”

  4. Depression- the loss feels more present and unavoidable, so we pull inward as the sadness grows

  5. Acceptance- its not that we no longer feel the pain of the loss, we’re just no longer resisting the reality of our situation.

I remember the day I lost my mother, that was literally the day my life changed forever. The one person that was ALWAYS in my corner, that ALWAYS chose me, no matter what, was now gone.

I didn’t have time to deal with grief. Too many people needed me, too many people were looking for strength in me. I couldn’t allow myself to feel it because I couldn’t be perceived as weak. I was afraid that in facing it, it would kill me. Instead I opted for a nice box with a pretty bow, and tucked it away for “safe keeping” (at least, so I thought).

For so long, I would avoid certain places because people knew my mother, and me always being in her shadow, I knew they’d recognize me and ask questions I wasn’t ready to answer.

Tucking it away seemed easier than dealing with it but as time went, I began to realize it was a battle I had been losing all along. What I thought I was getting away from, already had me. I felt sick daily. Lost my appetite,spending most days only eating a few crackers. Just so that when someone asked “did you eat?” I could say yes. Hoping the question wasn’t “what did you eat?”. As lonely as I felt, I didn’t want to be around people because I didn’t want to be a burden or topic of conversation.

When holidays roll around, I isolate myself from family. Not that I don’t love them but retelling old stories would trigger grief. Even the mere presence of someone had become a constant reminder that would trigger grief.

I was angry with God, and went a couple years without stepping foot into a church. Praying/Talking to God? PLEASE. As far as I was concerned, we had nothing to talk about.

I became distant. A person that rejected love, out of the fear of losing love. Not just in physical death but even the severance of ties. Letting people in, but pulling away when I feel you’ve gotten too close.

Years down the road I still find myself grieving. Day by day, minute by minute. I go through the stages, Monday morning it might be acceptance, But come noon.. It might just be denial. The only one I haven’t found myself revisiting is the “Bargaining” stage. I’ve accepted the fact that there’s no way to reverse what already is.

So far I’ve learned:

  1. Just because you’ve reached acceptance, grief doesn’t magically disappear.

  2. It’s something that people don’t fully understand. They expect you to deal, how they think you should.

  3. You not only grieve over physical deaths but you also grieve the loss of the ones still alive when disconnection takes place.

  4. If you allow it, grief will consume you in more ways than one.

  5. Grief is a part of life. You don’t just get over it, you learn to get better at it. It’s a part of the course, and even when it hurts we must stay the course.

  6. You’ve gotta find your niche! For me, I finally learned what my mother meant all those years she said “One day you’re gonna have to know God for yourself”. So when the weight starts to paralyze me, I’ll turn on my worship music and talk to God. I’ll lean on my fairy God Mother(as I like to call her when talking to others about her). Or, I’ll head to kitchen for tranquility. If I don’t know anything else, I definitely know my way around the Kitchen. It’s the one place the memory lane doesn’t keep me in tears. It takes me back to watching every move my Mom or Gran made in the kitchen, and I mimic every step, every recipe from that memory. So I always keep “from scratch ingredients'' because when those times come in, I require a lot more time to process than anything boxed/pre-made allows lol

Right now, with all that is going on in the world everyone is dealing with grief. Not just our own person grief, but the grief of all that's been taking place. Whoever you are, wherever you are, and whatever you’re grieving over, allow yourself to feel it. Some situations you won’t grieve forever, some will probably still sting as the first day but whatever you do, don’t allow it to consume you. Be gentle with yourself, love yourself, and allow others to love you too.

So how are you dealing with your grief?

Or are you letting it deal with you?

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