617 Days have passed since the inception of this blog and 650 Days since Lawrence left earth for his next great adventure.
During those 650 days I have
Lost and found myself.
Visited the vast abyss of grief
and clawed my way out.
Cried oceans of tears.
Silenced thoughts by music so loud
that it’s a wonder I can still hear.
Walked through the fiery furnace of grief
and burned to a pile of ashes,
Risen from the ash heap of my former self
into a new creature whom
I sometimes do not recognize.
Learned who I can count on,
and who I have outgrown.
Finally, I have learned lessons
that have equipped me to embrace
my new life:
My Grief Lessons
Grief sucks but to come out the other side intact
one must go through and accept the process
with the courage of a warrior.
Ride every single wave of grief to the end.
Sometimes the waves are gentle and sometimes a tsunami.
Sometimes the boat seems like it will shatter from the storm,
so always have a lifejacket friend who is willing to sit with you.
Find Your Tribe
That lifejacket friend or friends
Badass people who have been or are going through the same thing
who won’t say stupid things that they ‘think’ will help you, but instead are willing to listen and meet you right where you are.
The friends who are willing to sit with you in silence.
Be that friend to others as well.
Trust in G-d
H- does not make mistakes
to blame H-m for the death of our loved ones is fruitless.
Accept that Healing is Hard Work
It would have been easier to remain in the abyss of grief
than to claw my way out to embrace healing.
It’s Okay Not to Listen
You do not have to listen to advice from people who mean well.
Those who say things like, “It’s time for you to stop crying and move on.” or “S/he is in a much better place.”
Those people are not your tribe and it’s okay to maintain a safe distance from them.
It’s Okay to Cry
Accept that memories sometimes bring tears.
Tears associated with memories or anniversaries do not mean that the pain of grief is back to stay, it’s just coming for a visit. Be sure it does not outstay its welcome.
Learn the difference between happy tears and sad tears. Memories can be happy as well as sad.
Finding something to be grateful for daily, even if it is just waking up in the morning can be cathartic.
It takes the mind off oneself and directs it to something positive.
Be Careful Who You Listen To
In my humble opinion, the purpose of grief is to go through the process and come out the other side a whole (not broken) human being. One who has learned to deal with the emotions that arise and is better equipped to go through the process the next time (because there certainly will be a next time).
However, grief is an industry. Hear me out before you skip this section.
I am neither a conspiracy theorist or a pessimist, but many people make a lot of money by selling books and classes to people who are grieving. Sometimes I think that those individuals secretly (or not so secretly) want people to remain in a state of grief so they can continue to make money.
Even more people think that their way is the only way and are quick to berate and censure anyone who disagrees with their opinion.
Therefore, I have learned to be discerning about who I listen to, follow, and believe.
It’s Okay to Embrace Life and Remember
It is okay to be happy,
to move forward,
and embrace life
while still remembering
those who have died.
It’s also okay to talk about them,
celebrate their birthdays,
anniversaries, and share memories.
Personally, I walk away from people who do not share this viewpoint.
It’s Okay to Grow and be a Badass!
I am grateful for growth and badassery!
Thank you so much to Lisa for her lovely post! Grief can certainly be a teacher, that much is clear to anyone brushed my grief.