Grieving; something everyone hates to have to go through, and has no control over when you have to do it. But it is definitely something you have to do. It is a healing process. You can’t move on without it, no matter how badly you may want to avoid your emotions. I, myself, bottle up emotions a lot because I don’t like to be a so-called “emotional person”. But with undergoing the loss of someone in a tragic accident, I learned first hand that grieving is absolutely necessary. It helps close one door so that later down the line, you may open another.
There is no right or wrong way to grieve, although there are steps you can take to help you get through the process. The typical ways people grieve come in 7 steps: 1. Shock 2. Denial 3. Anger 4. Bargaining 5. Depression 6. Testing and finally 7. Acceptance. The ultimate goal is to reach number seven. However, keep in mind there is no timeline on grief and there is no one person that can tell you when to begin or end the grieving process. I will say on the other hand, going to therapy or grief counseling can surely help you reach step number seven a lot quicker and that is not a bad thing.
A few years ago I lost a good friend of mine in a tragic accident. I hit most of these steps in my grieving process and I even went to see a therapist to help me get through it all. I whole-heartedly believe this helped me reach acceptance a lot sooner had I not gone. I also leaned heavily on my faith and what I had learned through my faith about death and the after-life. When you lose someone you’re close to unexpectedly, things like “only the good die young” don’t necessarily make you feel any better. It doesn’t answer your question “why?” and it surely doesn’t help you reach acceptance any quicker.
I knew I wasn’t going to just wake up one day and be accepting of the situation, so I decided to turn to the only person who had all the answers; God. I put in my mind that although on this earth I was never going to get my “why?”, I would come to peace with it with the help of my faith. Was I in shock and denial when my friend passed unexpectedly? Absolutely! And some days I was mad as heck! But that didn’t mean to give up on life or to sit around and be sad all day every day. Could you imagine if you left this earth today, and all your friends and family did nothing to carry on with their lives. I know I would be popping up in their dreams and smacking them around saying, “get out there and get on with your dang self!” I fully believe we go to a much better place than here when we die, so do your best to understand they really are in a better place.
Another thing that really helped me was an exercise my therapist had me do. I was to imagine myself in one place, and the person who passed in another. So, I pictured myself down here on earth, and my friend looking over me from heaven. This helped me visualize what was reality. He was no longer here on earth, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t watching over me from heaven. I found a lot of really great Christian songs to help me more so “understand” God’s plan for why things ended up the way they did, and I would put them on repeat. “Just Be Held” by Casting Crowns, “Praise You In This Storm” by Casting Crowns and “Trust In You” by Lauren Daigle are some of my favorites. These songs spoke to me in ways that some of my closest family and friends couldn’t have even done. They put things into words that helped me see far beyond this physical earth and really restored my faith and trust in the Almighty.
There were many days I wished I would’ve gone with him. People asking questions I didn’t have answers to; people not understanding why I was sad; people telling me to basically put my big girl pants on and get over it. Well let me tell you something, those people can shove it where the sun don’t shine. Who are they to tell you when you can or cannot be sad, or how to get over the sudden loss of someone, or anything at all if they have no idea how you are feeling inside?! No one saw what I saw or experienced what I experienced or had the same exact friendship we had. So for people to tell me how to go through the grieving process, is shocking to me. Do whatever it is you need to do to get through day one, and then day two and so on and so forth. If you need to cry for an hour at the start of each day until you have no tears left, then do it. If you need to go see a therapist three times a week to help you get on with your life, then do it. It never gets easier, it just gets better, and whatever it takes for things to “just get better” for you, do them. All day. Every day if you have to. This is your life, this is your grief and no one can tell you any one way to make things better. I can tell you one thing is for sure though. You do have to go through the grieving process. You do have to get in your feels and you do have to get up every day and get after it.
Grief sucks. Simple as that. But you’ll never reach the “just gets easier” or the acceptance part of grief if you don’t allow yourself to feel all the things. It’s tough and it feels like a never ending process, and sometimes, years later you’ll have a day where you feel it like it is brand new, but feel it. Let your mind and soul process it, over and over again if it needs to. There is no timeline and there is no one to tell you when or how to feel sad. With that being said, don’t sulk around all day every day either. The point of grieving is to be able to get up one day, accept what is real and still accomplish all you were meant to do in life. Get on with your bad self and if you can’t do it for yourself, do it for the person you lost. Don’t ever give up the good fight and don’t ever give up on yourself. You were meant for this world in one way or another; go find it! Alright y’all, until next time, get out there and crush it while making the world a better place!