Updated: Jul 25
I heard a saying recently that really made me think.
"The only sure things in life are death and taxes"
Like most of you, I shook my head in agreement when I heard it, but realized later on that it wasn't a true statement. We now know that grief is not exclusive to death. Regardless of death, another sure thing in life is grief. And for some people... you may even grieve over taxes!
To be clear, grief is a constant state of being that our emotions go through, but it's not widely recognized or prepared for. We grieve when we divorce. When we have a baby. When we are diagnosed with a long-term illness. When we lose a friend. And of course, with death. Why is it that we make others feel badly for doing something that is a natural part of life and invokes strong emotions?
One of the things that I've struggled to grieve after the death of my mother was the understanding that I couldn't save her. No matter what I said, or did, the harsh reality is that she would have died. This false state of mind had me thinking about all of the Coulda; Shoulda; Wouldas; but none of it would have mattered. Depression and anger sunk in. Her assignment was done on Earth, but getting over that was hard.
Suddenly, I realized that I actually needed to grieve and do what so many people had done before me, so I took some time off. In my case, I didn't start the grieving process until nearly 2 years later. Many people felt I should be done grieving.
This is where I got it wrong... and I want you to get it right.
There is no time limit on grief. There never will be!
The intensity may shift and change over time as you learn not to cry every day, but you will still be grieving. One of the biggest lessons I've learned was to NOT BE GUILTY FOR MY NEED TO GRIEVE!
Unless you are a mind reader, it's impossible to know when your real grieving process will begin. Make sure you are taking the steps to prepare for this difficult truth: Not everyone will understand where you are and what you are going through. Many of my clients get so much pressure to rush their grieving process; not only is this detrimental but adds another layer of complication, further complicating your grief.
I know you may not remember all of this when you're in the midst of grief, but take one thing with you: It's okay to prepare for when grief hits. Have certain hours set aside. Find a support group or share with your friends and family.
Most importantly, find a way to take care of you.