Grief is a funny thing – it’s not something we want yet we find ourselves in a relationship with it at the most inopportune times. We never want grief in our lives yet we all experience it whether we want to or not, we don’t have a choice in the matter.
Grief is directly connected to love – in fact love and grief are two sides to the same coin, you cannot have one without the other. Think about it for a second, we grieve because we love deeply, so our capacity to love means that we have a capacity for grief. So why can’t love and grief be experienced at the same time? It can. You’re allowed to experience both love and grief together at once, and you’re allowed to experience joy and grieve at the same time too.
Grief is HARD, like really hard which means we tend to avoid it, we run away or distract ourselves from it. But that’s a silly concept because you can’t actually get away from it – no matter how much you want to run away and avoid, grief will find you. It will always be there. Grief is a life long process, it doesn’t just go away. So instead of avoiding it or hoping one day it will be gone, try to lean into it – it won’t kill you, I promise.
The depth of pain from grief is like having your heart ripped out of your chest and shredded to pieces, it feels like you might die, but you won’t. You wonder how will get through the next minute never mind the next day, and you just need to focus on taking one breath at a time and one moment at a time. The truth is that all of us are grieving, in one way or another – a death, a sudden illness, divorce, death of a pet, loss of a job, a life you thought you’d have and now it’s different.
We are all grieving. We are not alone.
Since we will all grieve in this life time, we need to do learn to do it well. And its hard to do it well, there is no one right way. But when we are capable of talking about grief and telling our story, we can normalize it and it will be easier to process. I want you to connect to the deep well of grief and allow yourself to feel it. In our fear of feeling the pain, we tend to avoid it in any way possible. Although that might sound like a good idea for a short term coping plan, it’s an awful long term plan. The longer you avoid something the harder it will hit later on. Grief will wait you out, grief is patient and it will wait. Avoidance is alluring with its promise of numbness but it won’t alleviate the grief, it only prolongs it.
So, how do you grieve well? It’s simple but it’s not easy, you need to feel it. Allow the feelings to surface, take up space and feel it. It will pass, it will rise and fall like the waves of the ocean. I promise that it won’t kill you – I promise that the tears won’t last forever and that you will be able to breathe again.
Remember, you’re built to grieve just as you’re built to love! Grief is meant to transform us and if you don’t allow yourself to feel it, you cannot be transformed by it – all you will do is spend the rest of your life running from it.
When you start to feel grief and allow it to transform you, you’ll find the wisdom in that pain. We learn so much about ourselves and the world when we allow ourselves to feel grief, to rumble with it and to allow it space in our lives. Grief evolves over time and its intensity changes but it’s there for the rest of your life. It tells us that we’ve lost something or someone special to us, it signifies a significant change that requires noting, grieving is a gift of love where we honour who is no longer here.
Give yourself permission to grieve.
Check out my latest Coffee Talk where I discuss grief and grieving, how we can allow space for it in our lives, how grief is with us forever and how grieving is not something we do alone.
- What is grief telling you? What does grief need from you?
- How can you begin to make space for grief instead of avoiding it?
- What wisdom have you gained through grief?
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