For everything, there is a season….and sometimes that season is grief. It really is okay to grieve. In fact, it just might help you get back up again.
Embrace your grief, For there, your soul will grown. -Carl Jung
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IT’S OKAY-YOU HAVE PERMISSION
First, let me get this out of the way, I am not a trained counselor. I do work in the mental health field, but I am not a clinical therapist. If you need mental health assistance contact your therapist, doctor, or find help here.
Now, just in case you need to hear it…you have 100% permission to grieve whatever you are going through and missing right now!!!!
For a lot of people, they are grieving some big losses.
We are in the midst of unprecedented times where there are missing trips, weddings, baby showers, birthdays, graduations, employment, etc!
But large or small, it’s okay to feel sadness over any size loss.
MY OWN RECENT GRIEF STORY
Last year, I was processing my own grief.
Of course, I have had the grief that comes from losing a loved one. I have lost both of my parents, my mother in my teens.
That particular grief is so hard to wrap around…but a cultural understanding of it in a way. Most people expect you to be grieving and there isn’t quite as much (still happens just not quite as much) buck up or get over it or (my fav) look on the bright side.
In grieving a loss of graduation, for example, it’s a loss not everyone gets.
People often don't realize you can acknowledge someone's feelings without having to compare it to what someone else has gone through.
Well, back to my story…
Our youngest has had a lot of struggles. I won’t go into his full history, but you can read a little of it here.
Over the years I have processed some of the grief of what I thought our adoption story would look like, although it’s taken me years to realize I needed to do so.
More recently, I have missed, seeing him go on a first date, get his driver’s license, the first job, prom, and graduation.
BEST INTENTIONS, BUT…
Most people do have the best of intentions and often don’t know what to say when someone is sad.
We want to share our own experiences and perspective and HELP!
We often don’t have training in the art of listening.
And yet, sometimes it goes further than that.
On Facebook, I saw a touching post from a high school senior, Kaitlyn Kirian of Ohio, who did an illustration of herself in cap and gown with tears rolling down her face to illustrate her grief for losing her graduation…and most of her senior year.
Of course, let the Facebook gates open.
Here are just a few of the responses to her grief:
So dumb I thought it was a joke…
Welcome to the real world.
Well in adulthood you don’t always get what you want.
Not an important as saving lives.
Read Ann Frank
I would have done anything to get out of school this long.
My only guess is that these people have hurts that they have never had permission, been taught, to grieve.
Hurt people, hurt people.
This is why it’s so important to talk through what you are going through!
WHO TO TALK TO AND WHO NOT TO
When grief is deepest, words are fewest. -Ann Voskamp
Before you chat up your feelings, you may want to know who you can turn to and who you can’t.
Obviously, from the example above, you will want to have a thick skin for social media. I have put up the most harmless pet videos and still get “interesting” comments.
Social media can be a great place for awareness but not always for support.
Since you are grieving, protect yourself and go to people you trust:
- A best friend
If you open it up to people who don’t have your best interest at heart, that don’t know your story, that won’t pray for you…or pray before they say something, or that want to tell you about themselves, you want to rethink it.
Recently someone that I don’t know really well asked about my son. He just got hurt badly, like within the past two days. I was in shock and could barely recognize him when I saw him. That person, who has never met my son, casually mentioned that I guess karma got him. WHAT? I knew I shouldn’t have confided but they asked, I was wanting some support, and so I discussed it. I KNEW BETTER, and I should have protected myself.
WHAT CAN YOU GRIEVE?
ANYTHING that means something to you! You will know what your loss is. The trick is not letting others tell you it means nothing. Again, protect yourself.
I love to play board games. I wish my family did. It was something we did as a family growing up and I miss that experience. It’s something that brings fond memories for me. It’s a treasure. BUT, my immediate family does not. Is this something I will grieve for days on end, no! I just acknowledge it when it comes up…and force them every now and again. 😀
Silly? Well, It’s not the same as the grief of losing a loved one by any stretch of the imagination but there is a grief of the image I had of family life. Small yes, but yet important to me.
BUT WON’T YOU BE SAD ALL THE TIME?
For many people, grief as an emotional experience still has a stigma attached to it, and so they wrongly believe it would be better hidden or avoided.. – David James
In some circles, there was a thought that if you talked about suicide the rates will go up however the opposite is found to be true. If you talk to teens about suicide it makes them more aware of signs and how to get help. It takes some of the unknown away and a discussion happens.
I believe that to be true for grief. We need to talk about it to take some of the power away.
It’s like telling someone to not do something. The more you try to stuff something it goes unresolved and no doubt gets bigger.
But when we talk about it we get the chance to name it and acknowledge it to let some of it go and heal.
MOVING ON FROM GRIEF -DON’T GET STUCK THERE
I get knocked down, but I get up again. You’re never donna keep me down. – Chumbawamba
For everything there is a season (Ecl 3).
We just recently celebrated Easter and one of the things that struck me is the days of grieving before the celebration. See, it’s okay to grieve. We just don’t want to live there. Roll that stone away!
Grieve and then, LIVE!
MORE SALVAGE MOMENTS
Our goal here on Salvage Sister & Mister is to make the most with whatever you have. Sometimes that’s about salvaging moments. Here are a few more posts we hope to do just that:
- 50 Ways to Help One Another Now
- The Art of the Sunday Drive
- I’m a Lucky Girl? Truths and Myths of Being Self-Made