In my life, I have often felt shame around the way I grieve. When my father passed away, I was saddened but not overly so, and I judged myself for not being sadder. Several months later, out of nowhere, a deep sadness befell me and at first, I wasn’t sure what it was or where it came from. As I analyzed my feelings more carefully, I realized it was my grief and sadness over the loss of my father. I so badly wanted him to come to me in a dream to somehow communicate with me, and while I believe he is watching over me, I so badly then– and even now– want confirmation and to somehow still get his guidance.
In addition to grieving the loss of my father, I also grieve for the relationship I wanted to have with him, and I grieve to have been understood by him.
The good news is, today I have the tools to parent myself and allow myself the sense of patience to grieve the way I do, and to acknowledge that no two episodes of grief need look alike.
This came to me when I witnessed a friend of mine who lost his father, and he truly seemed to be doing okay. Shortly thereafter, my friend lost his dog, and he was absolutely beside himself and bedridden from his sadness for several days.
My initial reaction to this was to sit in judgement. How can someone be so sad over the loss of an animal and not a human? Then, I started to rationalize and explain it away, before ultimately reaching a place of acceptance. Because really, who am I to judge how someone grieves? Who am I to judge the way one processes their pain?
I then turned inward, and said, ‘Who am I to judge how I grieve and how I process my sadness?’ As long as I’m using my tools, sharing and not hiding while handling it the best way I can, that is truly what counts. There are no ‘shoulds’ and ‘coulds’– if I should, then I shall, and if I could, then I can.
How do you process your grief? Furthermore, how do you find acceptance for yourself, and how do you deal with self-judgement?
This week, let’s be gentle with ourselves. Let’s live in acceptance of ‘what is’, and stop looking at ‘what should be’. More than anything, let’s be kind to ourselves and others.
Accountability, Community, Unconditional Love
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