Lessons of GriefJul 07, 2022
I think all of us strive to be a better human each year that passes. I used to seek out conferences and courses that would help me grow professionally and personally. I have invested lots of money in growing myself but I don't think anything could have grown me more than these last few years of just doing life.
While I could write a whole book (actually hope to one day about caring for my precious mother), it's these last few months that I have learned the most. I am not the same that I was a year ago. This whole transition from being a fulltime caregiver back to being a wife, mother, housekeeper, and business woman has been interesting. I won't say hard necessarily, just exhausting. Caregiving at times was exhausting because of the sheer lack of sleep I got but this is a different type of exhaustion. I have tried to jump right back into the extroverted life I had 5 years ago and all the things I used to do. And I am increasingly aware that I am just not ready. Grief is a funny thing because society gives you a timeline and thinks you should be certain places emotionally at certain times.
Guess what friends- if you are grieving- you will get there when you get there. One thing I know is that everyone processes it differently.
I think what has been hardest for me is listening to my body. If I can't just jump up and do the 10,000 things I used to be able to do in a day- that's ok. One of the things I used to enjoy was having people spend time with me at my house in Va Beach. I just can not tell you how exhausting that has been recently. My body still entertains and makes tons of food and caters to others in my home but when it is over, I am just completely wiped out. It's not normal for me. I used to go nonstop (the hostest with the mostest) and quite frankly, I just can't. It takes me days to recover. It is odd. I have thought several times that I was sick. No, just not ready I suppose. Also, I have been so been frustrated that I can not seem to finish up the last bit I need to do to launch my new website. It's not that hard but it is. I have to remind myself that laundry will be here tomorrow and so will all the content writing I am trying to do. I feel like I am in a constant battle with my head and my heart. It's odd.
I have done this grieving thing quite often sadly in my life. But this time, it is different. Maybe because I am older, maybe it's because my body is just trying to adjust to a new schedule, maybe it's simply all the mounting emotions of grief. I don't know what it is. But it's more consuming than ever before. Quite often I just have to check out and do something that brings me immediate joy...like stealing a neighborhood kid for a date night, taking my granddog for a walk, or going to eat a pint of mashed potatoes and drink green tea. Whatever, this stage or funk is I am just learning to lean in. I am learning it's ok to not be ok. And when you are ok, that's ok too.
I have heard all of what I am saying before and for some reason it just feels different living it again. It's the weirdest thing really. I didn't even mention the guilt that comes when I feel like I should be passed this- when I hear others who have had so much more loss than me. It's almost like I want to give my grieving space to them- like they deserve it more. I am not sure if I am making sense. But what I am realizing is everyone has to own their own grief journey and we just can not compare it how others are grieving.
The waves of crying come in random places and I have just learned to go with it. I used to shy away from crying in public- now I just share with strangers when it hits. And you know what? More often than not- the person I share with also has a story to share. I am learning that the more often you show that it's ok to not have it all together- it almost gives others permission. I am ok going through these waves of emotion because I know most definitely, I have to kick through them to get to the other side.
I am not drowning, I am quite joyful most days. I am so thankful for the precious time I had with my mama here in our home. It's just that every moment in my home seems to have a memory that I have to go through. Most of the time, it makes me smile and others like tonight as I sit and just long for one more hug and one more "Good Morning Chicadee", I will ask the Lord to give Mom that hug from me and ask him to remind me that this world is merely a holding place.
I am surely reminded of God's goodness on the daily in all we have to celebrate down here. My prayer is that I may live out the life God intended for me here on this earth. May I go through emotionally what I need to in order to be more like Christ even when it hurts, even when it's painful. May I just grow to be a better human. But next time Lord you want me to grow, could I just pay and attend a John Maxwell course or something? :)
Cheers to Living Out this Earthly Life while Navigating the Emotions & Owning the Journey!
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