The beginning of a lifelong process and the space in which to do it.
It is not always easy to listen to what pushes and pulls in this mind of mine, but I experienced a loss so gargantuan to me recently, that I am now compelled to find avenues, outlets, and ways to catapult myself from the depths of the darkest pits to survive the loss — become one with the loss — move on from the disabling effects of the loss.
To say that I endured the death of someone close is an understatement; it does not completely encompass from what my heart is trying to heal. There is no proper way to describe, let’s say, on a scale of one to ten, just how crucial this loss is.
On February 18, 2022, I muttered my last “I love you” to my closest cousin — one of the greatest loves of my life. She had been significantly older than me, so she mothered me — nurtured me — allowed me to be guided by her.
She could rain down love without being coaxed or manipulated. It simply fell out of her and onto/into you without caution. If you loved her or had been loved by her, you knew it. You felt it. There was no reason to question this love. It was genuine and given with every ounce of her being.
Every single day now since the day of her death has been an excruciating trial in living. There are days I say to myself, “You’re fine. You’re doing just fine.” And on those days, I do feel a sense of all-rightedness, but as a whole, they — those days are fleeting. I have had to learn how to swim in choppy waters — maneuver through bone-chilling nights — slide myself out of bed, press my feet onto the floor, and push myself up and out slowly; attempting to gauge just how my body and mind feel when beginning a new day.
What I am learning about grief.
Grief, as described by Psychology Today, is
The acute pain that accompanies loss. Because it is a reflection of what we love, it can feel all-encompassing. Grief is not limited to the loss of people, but when it follows the loss of a loved one, it may be compounded by feelings of guilt and confusion, especially if the relationship was a difficult one.
How am I grieving? How am I mourning? I have to strip bare — down to the bones of myself and cry when the tears fall. I allow myself the time and space to break down — literally feel every emotion that comes at me during those moments. I am using writing as a tool — an outlet to get me through the hardest parts of this journey. There are days when all I can do is write poem after poem in honor of/for her. If there’s a song I want to hear — one that reminds me of her gentle ways — her kindness, I play it. If there is a meal I want to eat to pull her into my space for the enjoyment of my evening, I will cook it.
I am wading through these waters as best as I can because the hard truth is, even though I have had other significant deaths in my life, none of them have affected me the way this one has. Learning to be gentle with myself as I create or allow words to spill out of me, detailing my thoughts or describing various emotions, is key. A learning curve has been assigned because this will never be perfected.
The goal? To wake up feeling less heavy than I did the day before. I want to breathe and not risk passing out. I intend to grow in both mental and physical preparedness for my world without her. In order to do this, any of it, I must grieve — in its most wholly and authentic form, and not feel ashamed of it.
How does this pertain to you?
It is, I am certain, probably safe to say many of you reading this article have experienced some form of grief. Perhaps you are trying to move through the hell of it right now. Maybe you haven’t found the sure footing you thought you would have under you at this point. Or is it possible you’re not giving yourself the time you need to grieve, mourn, and properly feel or experience your loss?
This newsletter will be a weekly synopsis of how I am moving through the hell of it all. It will also be a space for you, should you feel so inclined, to share your thoughts, moments of progress, despair, etc. in the comments as discussion.
Welcome to The Grieving Room. I am here. You are here. We are not alone in this.
See you next Saturday.
Originally shared via LinkedIn.