After grief’s sneak attack on New Year’s Eve I knew something needed to change. Grief and I weren’t completely done with each other, it wasn’t time to break up but we did need to redefine our roles. I gave it a seat next to me.
From this new dynamic I saw grief didn’t define me. It also didn’t mean I was off the hook from feeling the feels and having the ugly cries. It was tempting to shove away the pain declaring, “I will not be run by grief” as an excuse to numb out or ignore it. But I didn’t because I didn’t want any places I couldn’t go. If I started avoiding the pain it would simply define me in a different way, dictating large swaths of land I couldn’t approach or go. I wanted the freedom to roam the full terrain of my heart and soul, even if it meant uncomfortableness.
Sitting with Grief gave me the space to observe and explore.
Can you stand Sitting with Grief, because when grief is separate from you, you can begin to observe:
- What triggers sadness? Do you want those triggers or not?
- What brings a sentimental smile?
- What makes you feel stuck? Guilt, unresolved issues, other people?
- Does it feel safer to be in grief?
And once you begin making these observations you roll on into the next stage, What Now?
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This is the thirteenth installment in a series of articles based on, “Good Grief – Embracing Life and Giving Good Support” a talk I gave on May 22, 2019. You can get caught up by starting with the introductory article here.