I hope your week was filled with moments of joy and peace, as the nation took part in Thanksgiving. I am aware that there are some of you out there who weren’t able to enjoy the week or found it to be one filled with pain and uncomfortable moments. To those who couldn’t find those pockets of peace, or found little joy I want to say I’m truly sorry you had such a rough week. Please know, whoever you are, I am so thankful that you found your way to this post. I am hoping that anyone reading this will find some ways to help walk through your grief or become informed on how to walk your loved one through their grieving process.
Last week I had written a blog post that talked about the heaviness that most of us tend to deal with (especially this year) during the holidays (you can read it here). I had shared that many of us are reminded of the loss we have experienced or are currently experiencing during the holidays. Whether it is a loss of a job, loss of a home, loss of a friendship, loss of a romantic partner, loss of a loved one due to them passing on, and so much more, the holidays can sometimes be more excruciating then they are exciting.
For today’s post I wanted to take some time and share what it means to grieve losses in our life, and more importantly how to give ourselves the grace to grieve. Tackling grief is something that most of us seem to shy away from, but it is a topic that I see far too often in my counseling office.
Before I jump into the idea of grieving with grace, I feel it necessary to state the following:
Friend I am so sorry that your loss has been invalidated and you haven’t been given the space to process your grieving.
Whether it is your first heartbreak, the loss of what you thought would be a dream job, or the loss of a family member who passed away, grief is something that affects us all differently and you have the right to be affected. As a therapist, this is something that I hear too often, people feeling like they don’t have the right to grieve because there is nothing to be sad about. Loss affects us all differently and comes in different ways, so if you have been invalidated or told, it wasn’t that big of a deal I am so sorry.
A lot of us may have some undealt with loss because we were convinced it was nothing to mourn and told to just simply move on.
With that being said, I want to share what I mean when I say grieving with grace. As a mental health therapist, I see a lot of clients who are going through some sort of grieving process, and oftentimes in that process, they are beating themselves up for feeling the way they do. When it comes to grief, there is so much around it and to unpack but for the sake of this post, I want to focus on the fact that most of us tend to try and just push through. We have been told the motto just fake it until you make it or just survive, but we can’t approach grieving like that. If we don’t process and walk the journey of grief then the grief will become something that slowly takes over us and eventually defines us. It is important that we learn how to acknowledge and deal with the grief when it hits, so we can take hold of it before it takes hold of us. In order to do that, we need to give ourselves permission to do so. When we give ourselves permission to grieve we are giving ourselves permission to give us grace, which is crucial when we grieve.
To give grace means to recognize our humanness and allows for space to not be ok, but then provides the strength we need to walk the journey to healing without feeling shame in our struggle.
So now that I have hopeful explained what I am meaning by grieving with grace lets take a look at what giving yourself the grace to grieve can look like (although not limited too)
Taking it Day by Day
Giving yourself permission to take things day by day and releasing the pressure of having to know what the future is going to look like. When we are in the grieving process, it is crucial we take it day by day and not try to understand future things as that will take away from the process.
Allowing Your Tears to Fall
Giving yourself permission to let the tears fall and not hold them in due to the fear of them never stopping. Tears are a way for our hearts and minds to breathe and release everything that has been pent up, so my friend let them fall.
Saying No To Events & Hangouts
Giving yourself permission to say no to hangouts and events that you can’t emotionally and mentally be present for and handle. For example, if you are mourning a loss due to a miscarriage then give yourself permission to not go to baby showers right away. It is going to take time and space to heal, so it is ok if you can’t do large hangouts or attend events that take you to a rough place emotionally and mentally. My friend, it is crucial that you learn to honor what you can handle in the season of grieving.
Not Placing Your Healing on a Timeline
Giving yourself permission to pursue healing for the heartache, but releasing the pressure of having to do it on a certain/planned out timeline. Grief isn’t linear and there is no specific timeline that we all follow when dealing with loss. There is no way to predict the timing of your grieving as it is different for everyone and every situation.
Giving yourself permission to seek help, and not trying to figure this grieving thing out on your own. As humans, we are not created to do life alone, and that includes the hard moments like grieving losses. Oh, friend, it is so hard bringing people into our process without feeling like a burden but is an important part of the process. So whether it is a close/healthy friend, significant other trusted/healthy family member, mentor, pastor, and/or licensed therapist, seeking help is what is going to help us get to the place of healing.
Friend, grieving is hard, so make sure and give yourself some grace in the process. You have the right to grieve your loss, so stop beating yourself up for having to do so.
Release the lie you are weak if you grieve because my friend there is such strength in submitting to the grieving process.
Until Next Friend _____