Back from vacation, and I’ve been busy ever since I returned.
It was just the two of us and I got PLENTY of rest, but from the mouth of a grieving mom, no matter where you go or how long you’re gone, your grief goes with you.
Getting away just gave me some time to try to focus on my next moves. This is something I needed.
After the death of our son (Elijah) I instantly felt like nothing was important. I was losing myself in the process. All I wanted to do was lay around, then my eating habit got out of control. Everything I just mentioned, I still feel that way, but I have to come to grips that I must continue to live. Writing about my grief process is a form of the processes that we have been doing all our lives. Education is the best way to handle any and everything in life. Grief counselors are here for that reason.
Life is about someone teaching and someone learning to get to the next step, think about this:
We teach toddlers how to go to the potty, but we will keep a pamper or pull-up on them until we’re sure they know how to go on their own.
A kid must be taught and assisted with personal hygiene before we can trust they know exactly what to do.
We send kids to school, but we must assist them with their homework until we know that they know how.
We go to church to learn the word of God, but won’t be allowed to preach until the pastor knows you have the knowledge.
Jobs send us through training before we are allowed to do the assigned task.
There must be a blueprint and trained builders before a house can be built.
We must be taught how to drive and pass a test before we are allowed to drive.
The list goes on…but the few mentioned above, how long would it take to learn if we weren't educated, taught or trained?
Grief also has a process that you must be educated in. There is a beginning and an end to grief. Ending your grief process doesn’t mean you have gotten “over it” it means you have finally accepted, and you will learn to live with it. If you haven’t already sought counsel, start journaling in the meantime. I’ve read to allow yourself six months or max a year to grieve however you feel. If you have reached a year, but you don’t see any improvements in your grief process, it’s probably time to seek counsel.
Don’t get me wrong, you must allow grief to settle into your mind and body. We must allow grief to do its job and over time it will begin to dissolve. Writing and knowing this is far easier than doing it. In reality, it will be better than living a life never getting past suppressed emotions. Don’t allow yourself to be cut off from all the beauty life has to offer.
Grief is one of the most painful emotions that anyone can ever experience. Emotions are seen as a solid feeling, but they are mixtures of other feelings. We rarely feel pure happiness or anger. Happiness might have a sad moment, while anger might have a touch of sorrow. Grief is more powerful than any emotion and the most sensitive. It is a mixture of all our most powerful feelings mixed together at once. There’s anger at the unfairness, bitterness about the loss, fear for the future, regrets about the times that can’t be redone, loneliness and also happiness about the memories, and thankfulness for the time you did have together.
Acceptance of your loss is the most difficult journey that any person can start. To this day, I still can’t believe it. In due time, there will be gaps in my grief process. The better knowledge I gain of all the stages will help me to keep going. I’m not alone, there's many who have been in my shoes and if you meet them, you will never know they have lost a child unless they tell you. Understanding the stages allows me to not rush things. Being mindful means it’s normal to be on an emotional rollercoaster because that is better than suppressing your emotions. Life is often far shorter than we wish it to be, and the price of life is death.
I keep reminding myself that everybody grieves at their own pace and in their own way. There will be some high days and some low days. I find myself trying to fight grief when I feel it arising in public, which isn’t good. My character won’t allow me to cry in public or around others, is why I spend a lot of time alone. If I didn’t force myself to spend time alone, I would be living a life of suppressing my feelings.
We have to keep reminding ourselves that the price of life is death, but when it comes to our children that is very difficult to comprehend. We are here on earth to experience an assortment of bittersweet emotions daily, then we part. Regardless of anyone’s age, we can’t forget this is our peril.
Just to let you know I have positive emotions quite often; happiness and laughter and I embrace them. My family, friends and clients bring me joy. These emotions are normal too while grieving, we are human, this is how God designed us. Welcome these emotions as a return to ordinariness, not a betrayal of your child’s memory.
The Grief Process Blueprint: A Step-by-Step Guide