I did not go to a lot of funerals has a child. I was very lucky and blessed in that way.
When I was 18, my family lost 2 amazing people within a few months and as you can imagine it was a very hard time for us. I learned about grief and loss, but that was the first time I distinctly remember experiencing it.
During that time, I saw my family grieve in many different ways; some healthy and some unhealthy.
Grief is something that, unfortunately, every one of us has to deal with. I have found that grief is like a sprained ankle. You can try to “soldier” through it and act is if it doesn't bother you but it will only get worse and worse.
They are many ways to handle grief. Sadness, anxiety and anger are common reactions to a loss. It is important to allow yourself to feel whatever emotions you are feeling. Do NOT let anyone make you think your feelings are wrong or aren’t valid because they are.
Expressing your feelings is very important. The way you express yourself is up to you. Some examples are dancing, singing, writing, drawing, through sports or just talking.
There is nothing wrong with just talking to someone about how you feel. Speak with a friend, family member, pastor or a professional counselor. A counselor is an objective ear that is only there to listen, which is very helpful during a family loss where everyone around you is also grieving. A counselor can also give you professional tips to get through this process as well.
Grief can also weigh on you physically. Try to eat healthily and get sleep, which is easier said than done. A healthy diet has shown to help people cope with difficult times so that you are not physically weary as well. Keeping your routine is also helpful because it can make you feel that not everything has changed. If you normally run every day, walk the dog, or even clean on Saturdays, keep doing that. You would be surprise how something that small that can help the healing process.
If you have lost someone you love and you are now feeling overwhelmed with intense emotion, if you aren’t sleeping and suffering physically, please seek help. We all need help sometimes, NO ONE can handle everything on their own. If you don’t feel you can talk to a friend or family member, you can find a grief support group near you at grief.com or call the Grief Recovery Hot-line at 1-800-445-4808.
There is no right way to handle grief AND there is no time frame. You will never just “get over” losing someone. There will always be things that remind you of that person and days you miss them more than others, just allow yourself to miss them. Keep their memory alive in you.
With that being said, love and appreciate your family and friends while they are here. We are only on this planet for a limited amount of time. Spread love now.
Happy New Year!! I hope 2018 is treating you kindly and respectfully.
Around this time of year you hear “New Year. New Me” but this year I am trying something different and maybe you could try it too.
This year I am going to carry many of the lessons I learned last year about finances, how to process my emotions, and many other valuable ideals into 2018.
One major lesson that I am taking into the New Year is that I cannot and will not plan everything.
I am a planner, I have always been a planner. I started looking at colleges in the 9th grade, planned graduating in 4 years not long after I got there, and planned life after graduating before I was out of “intro” classes. I never really enjoyed moments because I was always planning the next steps. Well 2017 shut all that down, because I didn’t plan anything that happened.
I didn’t plan to not find a job in my respective field. I didn’t plan on losing the job I had. I did not plan on struggling financially and I definitely did not plan having to move back home BUT all that happened.
Having to deal with that stuff was hard but the hardest part for me to deal with was all my plans had gone to sh*t. I mentally could not handle that all my plans did not work out and, worst of all, I could not plan my next move because I had no idea where to turn or what to do.
I was constantly overwhelmed with stress and anxiety because I did not know what I was going to do, I was broke with no job and no plan. I suffered through anxiety and panic attacks but I thank God for my best friend and my family for helping me get through that incredibly hard time in my life.
I found a job that I actually enjoy, I am working with an amazing organization that allows me to mentor young girls that I love, I am writing again, and I am surrounded with people who love and support me.
Again not planned. I am so happy with my life right now and I planned none of it.
So that is what I am doing in 2018, I am not planning everything. I have some goals that I am working on but as far as what I am will be doing and where I am going: I do not know and I am OK with that.
My 5 year plan has changed so much in the last 5 years, so now I don’t have one. I am letting go and dabbling in all things that interest me. I have learned that it’s OK to have multiple interests and not sure what you want to do with yet, ESPECIALLY if you are in your twenties. (Another post for another day)
Life is a journey and we will all end up where we should be. You don’t have to get there first or in a certain amount of time.
Find happiness where you are, love the people around you, do things that make you laugh; ENJOY THE JOURNEY!