November 15, 2021
While this may sound like a silly question, it’s fairly common for grieving hearts to consider it throughout the grief process. Let me explain …
In one fell swoop, grief knocks you off your feet. As a result, you come crashing down, attempting to regain your footing and senses. The problem, however, is that you quickly realize that the methods you previously used to help yourself no longer work.
After my mom died in December 2012, I literally tried everything to help my body, mind, and spirit settle down. Though I felt utterly exhausted, naps did nothing to revive me. I lacked the physical stamina to move my body. I could no longer escape through reading due to poor concentration. Nothing worked!
The inability to care for myself in historically meaningful ways left me questioning everything about myself and the way I grieved. Questions like: “Why can’t I sleep?” and “What’s wrong with me?” circled round and round in my mind. In addition, I began to ‘should’ myself. “I should be able to go for a walk or read a simple book.”
Ever been there, my friend?
Nevertheless, this was the farthest thing from the truth.
The problem was that I was comparing myself to the old version of me. Pre-grief Mekel. The old version hadn’t experienced that level of heartache and pain. The old version had never sunk to the depths of depression or walked through the valley of the shadow of death.
In addition to inward comparison, society tells you all the wrong things. Comments like “You’ll be fine after the first year” or “Losing a parent isn’t as bad as losing a child” perpetuate the grief comparison trap. I wasn’t fine after the first year. Nearly nine years later, some days still feel like the first day my mom left this earth. And experiencing any type of significant loss can be devastating, depending on so many factors.
Friend, all of the internal and external expectations collide, leaving you feeling as if you’ve not only failed others, but also yourself. Can I get an ‘Amen?’
There really is no such a thing.
Do yourself a favor today, my friend. Read the next three sentences aloud.
#1 – “There is no right or wrong way to grieve.”
#2 – “I choose to honor my process without apology or question.”
Breathe. How’d that feel?
Now I know one repetition won’t necessarily prevent those pesky thoughts of failure from resurfacing. So when they try to creep in again, try to combat them by doing the following:
What you do you think, my friend? I’d love to hear your thoughts, so feel free to share them below.
From one grieving heart to another, I see and appreciate you.
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