I have been absent from my blog this summer due to a huge loss in my family and now I’m back to share this experience with you all.
Grieving is not easy. It’s an indescribable process that has no limit on time and pain. I have experienced grieving in the past, which has led me to my passion of working with grieving children and teens. I have seen how grieving affects others physically, mentally, and emotionally. I understand the impact it has on an individual for the rest of their life. It’s not an easy process and every individual grieves in their own way, but we have to keep pushing forward.
I lost my grandma suddenly on June 2nd, 2018. I was on my way back home from a mini trip to Chicago when my dad called me and told me the news. My initial reaction was shock and confusion. I had just talked to her a week before on her birthday. I told her I loved her and I would call her soon to set up a lunch date. It just didn’t make sense to me at all. Once I found out, I rushed over to say my goodbyes with my family and that was very hard. My grandma was the root of our family and without her, what now?
Like I have mentioned, I have grieved before, but I had never experienced the funeral process until now. If you have ever gone through the funeral process, you understand how quickly everything happens. With my grandma passing away so suddenly, there were so many changes and decisions to be made. My mind was not prepared for any of this, but it happened. It became my new reality.
During that time I felt as if I was shutting down emotionally and mentally. My mind was blocked and all I could think about was my grandma. What more could I have said to her? Why didn’t I spend enough time with her? Thoughts of her not being there for any other life events like my college graduation or my wedding. Not only was I grieving personally, but I knew that I needed to be strong and be there for my family who was also grieving.
The past two months I have been focusing on being surrounded by my family and loved ones. Having support through a time of grief is very important. Everyone grieves differently and I can’t even begin to explain the amount of overwhelming emotions that I have felt since, but I can honestly say that I have made it through with support. In an odd, but special way this brought my family closer and I am very thankful for that.
I’d like to share a few helpful tips for grieving over the loss of a loved one.
- Understand your Grief. Grief is a normal response to death. Understand your feelings and the different stages of grief, which can include denial, anger, depression, and eventually acceptance. There is no “normal” amount of time while grieving. Take the time you need during this process. Practice self-care during this time.
- Support. Everyone needs support during a time of crisis. More than anything else, we need to feel loved and supported. Reach out to a family member, friend, support group, therapist, etc. Don’t hold back from explaining what you feel. It is ok to feel the way that you feel. You are not alone!
- Focus on the positive. Consider positive things going on in your life. During this time, I had started a new job, my birthday was shortly after her passing, and I was planning for vacation. Although I didn’t have much motivation to be excited, I understood that I had much more to look forward to. I had to keep moving forward. Don’t feel guilty for getting back into the swing of things.
- Keep the Faith. Know that you will always heal and grieving does not last forever.
Speaking from experience, these positive tips have helped me in times of grief. I hope to inspire you to keep pushing forward.
In loving memory