If I take the time to stop and really think about those hard times after my husband died, I can almost instantly get pulled right back into those moments. I remember they were painful…
I didn’t know that I could survive my grief.
But I’m here, so I must have.
Because of the work that I’ve done with the Grief Recovery Method®, I also know that the pain isn’t there like it was and for that I’m incredibly thankful.
We’re talking every kind of pain - physical, emotional, spiritual.
I remember crying and a sound escaping me that I did not recognize, but it was from the depths of my soul. I do not wish the pain of grief on anyone, even my own worst enemy. If you know what I mean, you know what I mean. And you don’t know, not truly, unless you’ve been through your own excruciating heartache.
When you’re actively grieving, you’re suffering.
And it sucks. Hard.
I remember working my grief therapist and we made a list of ways that I was caring for myself, ways that I was kind. And I remember her pointing out things that I hadn’t thought of…
I was being kind to myself by saying “no” more often and to things that weren’t a priority like it once was - cause let’s face it, after Eric died, nothing much mattered after that for a while.
She also pointed out to me that I was doing things that helped me feel - feel anything but the sadness because the sadness was so overwhelming, and those things were reminders that I was still alive… even if the thing I was doing wasn’t necessarily lining up with my values and beliefs. The thing is, I was surviving grief. And sometimes shit has to go out the window for a time in order to survive. The basic survival techniques I had used for other ‘hard times’ just weren’t cutting it in deep ugly grief of my husband’s death.
I was also taking care of myself by utilizing services like Amazon. Might sound silly, but if you know, you know. Going to the grocery store or Target meant that I had to see people. And seeing people could be a trigger. Or they might ask me something about Eric or how we were doing. Or they might say nothing at all and let me shop in peace, which I’d appreciate, but then I’d be pissed they didn’t say anything. Or then maybe they might say nothing and just hug me, and then I’d break down and lose my shit.
In deep grief, you can’t win.
Earlier I told you that I was suffering in my grief. And I was.
I journaled and wrote Facebook posts about my personal journey with grief. I was transparent, vulnerable, and raw. I didn’t hold back. That actually made a lot of people uncomfortable - watching me publicly grieve. Grieving is actually the thing that society likes the least… so people might avoid you, you might try to avoid people, you might try to “act recovered,” or tell people “I’m fine” when you’re really not. Or you might drive an hour away to go to the grocery story or Amazon your toilet paper. Survival, you know?
Watching or knowing someone who is suffering is hard.
Being the one who is suffering is harder, trust me.
But I decided to go through some old writings of mine and compile some printables for you.
I hope that these sheets help point things out to you as a griever, or as someone who knows someone whose heart is broken.
Being educated about these sorts of things will help you with your friends.
As a certified life coach, we look for evidence that supports our thoughts and feelings, as well as our actions. Here’s a list of evidence of suffering - you may not even know you’re suffering from grief until you look over some of these. And I’ve provided a list of self-care and kindness I showed myself while I was actively grieving.
I pray you find these lists insightful.