healing

Why Your Grief Should Be Given Its Due

Why Your Grief Should Be Given Its Due

We have all had lots of different types of relationships in our lives: parents, cousins, coworkers, and friends. From the time we are children until the end of our lives, we will form hundreds of different relationships with people. Many relationships will last throughout our lifetime; however, there will be the select few that don’t always last. Most of the time those that don’t last tend to be simple friendships. By moving away or simply growing up, people develop and change and drift apart. Nothing wrong there; that is just basic evolution. Sometimes you may have a relationship that, no matter how it developed or how it ended, still ended and that ending was not easy. You are left feeling as though you lost that person forever.

I learned recently about a type of grief called ambiguous grief, which mostly describes when a loved one is ill and you are about to lose them, but I also feel that this type of grief applies to the ending of a relationship. Whether it be a friendship or a romance, I believe you still go through this grief. You go from talking and spending all the time you can together to—nothing. You are left to deal with a hole in what was your normal life. You essentially have to go through the grieving process.

I don’t know how many of you have actually experienced this yourself; if you have, you most likely have felt this kind of grief about a family member before their passing. Personally, this is something I have gone through, and feel I am still currently going through. I often cry and get angry. I want nothing more than to “fix” the problem. Part of me, however, knows this will probably never be fixed. I have to come to the acceptance stage of my grief, and it’s hard.

As with regular grieving, we all need to find positivity so we can reach the acceptance to move on with our lives. The only thing different between normal grief and ambiguous grief is that the person you are grieving is still here. I constantly remind myself that as long as they are happy, then we don’t need each other in our lives. I believe that everyone comes into our lives for a reason, no matter how brief the impact, or how long they stay, and it is up to us to find the lesson from that relationship. But no matter how strong my beliefs, it still does not make not having them in my life any easier. It’s easier to change a habit when it’s only been a few days, weeks, or even months. When it has been years, things tend to get more complicated.

You see, I lost one of my best friends this way. I could tell this person everything and always felt safe around them. We shared something special in the ways we were similar and even the ways we were different. After years of friendship something changed, and I felt shut out. I have my theories as to what may have led to this, but without a proper conversation I’m left to my thoughts, and to deal with my grief in my own ways. I try not dwell on the past we had, and to focus on my future and the possibilities that lie ahead of me. Losing anyone is always hard, especially when you had such a strong relationship. I still find myself wanting to call or text when something funny happens that reminds me of them. Like with anything that was once a constant in your life, it’s going to take nothing but time to help you break out of that habit.

The best advice I can give to you is to not think that your life is any less because they are no longer there. Think instead how you have changed and how you’re better for having known that person. We can’t make everyone happy, and we can’t keep things the same forever. Change is inevitable, and moving on is part of that process.

Another thing that I find helpful is to write. I have written letters to the person I am grieving and haven’t sent them, but just getting the emotions out helps to move on. I remind myself that people will always come and go in our lives and will always leave an impact on us.

We are creatures who make connections, and we grieve the connection as much as the person. The way someone makes you feel and how you see yourself because of them is a powerful thing. When we lose that connection and/or that person, it is a shock to the system, more so on the emotional side. I guess we can’t really see or understand the impact a person can have on us until they are gone.

How we deal with the loss of the person will be different for everyone. I know that I need time, I need to work through everything, and most importantly I need to remind myself that I didn’t do anything wrong. Blaming yourself creates such an emotional strain that you may find yourself slipping into a depressive state, and no one deserves to be the cause of their own unhappiness.

Anyone who feels that they are grieving a friend, or an ex, or even a family member—please know you aren’t alone in these feelings. I know the heavy heart you carry, as I too carry it. I would be more than happy to talk through it with you if you wish to share your story with me.

Posted by Jude in Hey Jude
Jude: Thankfulness & Healing in a Busy World

Jude: Thankfulness & Healing in a Busy World

Hey, everyone! 

I want to start off this month’s post with some of my favorites from last month’s Thankfulness Challenge:

Day 9: I am thankful for my friends, family, and those who love me. Knowing that I have them in my life is a true blessing, which I will always be thankful for.

Day 13: I am thankful for the beauty of the state I live in! I am so happy with the decision to move here—it makes every morning worth it!

Day 21: I am thankful for my fiancé. He has done so much for me, and helped to shape me into the person I am today. I honestly would not have the confidence to open up as much as I have without him always there to support and love me. I am beyond thankful for him, and know the rest of my life will be enriched for having him in it.

Over these last few weeks, taking the time to think on what I am thankful for has been wonderful. It has especially been nice to look back on days when I felt like it was a pointless day. By re-reading what I was thankful for the day before, or even the week before, I could find a new outlook on what had started as a bad day. It was a real boost in perspective and confidence to turn a bad day good again.  

This month, I have also given some thought to a subject I haven’t ever touched on before, and I want to do that now. I recently found an article that I can relate to, and that discusses the healing that hiking and experiencing nature can provide during grief. Grief affects us all at some point in our lives. Sometimes we expect these losses, and sometimes we don’t. I have always tried to run away from any sort of painful emotion, believing that I didn’t have enough strength to deal with it. In years past, I acted self-destructively instead of dealing with my pain in a healthy manner.

As I began my long journey of healing, I found the best places for me to heal were in nature. I began with short hikes up the bluff, then started taking weekend camping trips in the desert. Being in nature reminds me not only how different the world is, but also that it constantly changes, evolves, and grows—much the same as human beings do. It is important to learn and grow from our emotions. We all grieve in different ways, which is perfectly acceptable. As long as you are doing it in a healthy manner and not harming yourself or others, I support finding your own method. We are all different, and we all grieve over different things: the loss of a loved one or pet, or even something as small as a friend moving away. Understanding what causes your grief is a wonderful first step to healing.

If you currently find yourself grieving, try being in nature for a little bit. Take a walk alone, let the fresh air help clear your mind of the chaos, and most importantly, begin your healing journey.

Posted by Jude in Hey Jude, 0 comments