Last night was my first time at the GriefShare meeting our church hosts. Man, I’m so glad I found this program. From the second I walked in the door, I realized I had finally found a place where I feel I can be completely comfortable with my grief. Everyone in the room was grieving and no one made it feel awkward.
I think that’s one of the hardest things about grieving: most people don’t know what to say or do around a grieving person and that makes life really awkward for everyone.
Being at GriefShare, being around all the other grieving people, unlocked something in me. I have spent the last year focusing on the wonderful things that have happened. Lives have been changed since dad passed away. Caleb has kept us all laughing, even on the dark days. As a result of all these positive things, I have actively ignored the hard, sad, painful things. I cried last night for the first time in awhile; I finally feel safe to say I miss my dad and it hurts. It really, really hurts.
Each week in the GriefShare meeting, we share how our week went (good or bad), watch the session’s video, and reflect together on our grief journeys.
One of the most helpful tips from this week’s session was a list of six ways to deal with grief:
- Lean into grief (don’t avoid it, allow it to wash over you)
- The ABCs: Always be true to yourself, Believe that things will get better, Communicate your needs to others (remember that they care)
- Postpone big decisions (regardless of how you feel, you are not thinking rationally)
- Do the next thing (no matter how big or small, just keep checking off items on your list of things to do)
- Commit to GriefShare (or find people who you can grieve with regularly)
- Complete daily exercises (or be committed to exploring your grief and doing the hard things)
I’d dare to add two things to remember (things that my GriefShare friends continue to remind me):
- Things will get better even if they don’t feel that way right now
- Be kind to yourself (have realistic expectations for what you can accomplish)
If these are things you’re struggling with, just pick one to start with. I am impressed with how well organized GriefShare is. You can sign up for GriefShare daily emails. There is a grief-related bookstore.
One particular quote hit me really deeply and I am going to keep focusing on it this week:
You need to be someone who loved deeply and let it show.
Grief is so difficult because of the sadness we feel from missing someone we loved deeply. Grieving properly is the expression of how much we loved. It is essential to let my deep love show: just because my dad isn’t here anymore doesn’t mean he never existed.