Grief… where do you start?
I had a hard time writing this because I am literally the LAST person on earth who should be giving advice on how to deal with grief. I laughed when I was given this topic and said “my advice is just DON’T deal with it”.
Before we continue, this blog gets personal. Unfortunately, this isn’t one of my spunky upbeat blogs. But, I promise the next one will be!
I’m not writing today to tell you how to deal with grief; I’m writing to tell you how I personally deal with grief so that if you’re ever face to face with the uncomfortable, unwanted, gut wrenching emotion, you can take comfort in my story and know it’s okay to cope differently than others.
To give a little insight into my life, September 5th 2016, I lost my three-month old sister. Two months later, November 15th, I lost my dad. I knew both deaths were coming but it was still so unexpected. It was a scary and new feeling. I’ve never had someone close to me pass away and I didn’t know what to do.
Do I cry? Do I scream? Do I hug my family? Or do I give them space?
I was so confused. I had 1,000 things running through my mind so I did what came natural; I shut down. I pushed it to the back of my mind and told myself it wasn’t real. I went to work, I went out and I cleaned, A LOT. I constantly kept myself busy. I tried to joke when people tiptoed around me and I constantly felt the need to reassure people that I was okay. Everyone was waiting for me to break. Some still are.
My mom, bless her precious soul, would tell me “Honey, it’s okay to cry. Do you need to talk? Are you okay?” Routinely checking in on me. I could see she was worried and scared that I was going to break. But I guess that’s what all moms do in these situations, right?
Contrary to the belief that I never cried…I cried one time and one time only. Close to Christmas time I was in the shower and I got soap in my eyes. I got so angry that I just blew up and out came spilling every emotion I was holding in. My body shook and I made this weird animal like sound. I cried for about an hour straight. I screamed. I blamed God, I told him he was selfish and he didn’t care about the lives he destroyed. I was so angry with him, with myself and with the world. Something I’ve never told anyone, maybe because I wasn’t ready or maybe because I didn’t want the attention, I’m still not sure.
Anyways, I went to sleep that night, bloodshot and puffy eyed, and dreamt of my dad. We were at a party and he wanted me to hand him my daughter and I told him “No, you’re sick, you’re weak, you don’t need to carry the extra weight” He laughed and gave me the most vibrant smile and said “No, no,no! Allie, I feel great! I’m the strongest guy at this party! Now let me see my granddaughter.”
I immediately woke up and had a wave of calmness and peace wash over me. My daddy was at peace. I prayed a lot after that. I pray every day. I still deal with my own inner battles and I’m still trying to figure out all the walls I’ve got built up and come to terms of how they were built in the first place. I personally think that even if I break down all the walls, metaphorically speaking, that I’d still cope the way I do. I’m not one to show my emotions or wear my heart on my sleeve, as some would say. I could try to be a little less bottled up I suppose… I guess I’m still trying to figure things out. I’ll let you all know how it goes.