grief Sep 08, 2021

I’ve been getting reacquainted with grief recently. 

For lots of reasons, I suppose.

I guess I noticed that grief started showing up as an unwelcome visitor in our house a few weeks ago when it got harder and harder to tell my little girl the things we can’t do right now because of the pandemic:

We can’t play with friends.

We can’t go to church.

We can’t play on the playground.

We can’t go to school.

Then last week grief moved in and decided to start renting a room.

We found out that my 59-year old father-in-law passed away unexpectedly.

Grief is here to stay . . . . at least for now. 

It’s like an old friend that has continued to pop in and out of my life over the years. Not that I would call it an old friend per se. More like a hostile enemy that steals all my brownies or worse, puts nuts in them. 

But this go around, it’s different.

I’ve slowed down and let it be.

Rather than trying to kick the grief out or pretend like it doesn’t exist or beat myself up for feeling this way, I’ve let it come in and sit down. Yes, even rent a room.

Most of the time it stays in that little room it’s renting, but sometimes it comes out to visit and all the tears flow. 

But I’ve decided that’s ok.

We’ve all been grieving at my house. In different ways.

And the best part about it that I really love right now? We’re all giving each other space to do it.

Even my babies have given me and each other the time each of us need to cry or yell or go outside and crack a bull whip.

I think my babies are really good at grief.

They feel what they need to feel until it moves through their little bodies, and then they’re done until it comes back. Then they let it move through them again until it passes, and they move on. 

They don’t shame themselves or each other for feeling the way they feel. They simply allow it to be there.

I read an article that was recently published in Harvard Business Review about grief. So timely for me.

The author of the article was interviewing David Kessler, a world expert on the subject of grief, who said: “There is something powerful about naming this as grief. It helps us feel what’s inside of us. . . . When you name it, you feel it and it moves through you. Emotions need motion.” 

“Emotions need motion.”

That’s how my babies are processing their grief. They let it move through them.

I’m learning to do that.

Grief doesn’t usually come out to visit for long, but it is consistent in that it comes back.

But as I let it move through my body, it moves out of my body. 

My sweet father-in-law can never be replaced. He was one of the greatest, most humble men that walked the face of this earth. It’s largely because of him that my wonderful husband is the man he is today. 

We miss him. We love him. We’re grieving his loss.

And today, I’m ok with that. I’m ok with grief.

Originally Published 4/3/20

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