It was two weeks later and instead of getting better, I was getting worse. Way worse. I thought I was losing my mind. I thought I was giving in to sadness. I thought I had forgotten how to count my blessings and be grateful. But I realized I was just grieving.
And I had to be honest that before all this happened, I was still struggling from losing my job just two months before. I had been writing for an agency for a year and a half with excellent feedback on projects only to be “terminated” two weeks after informing HR I was pregnant. Life was already feeling pretty unfair, and it just got a whole lot more unfair. While that loss wasn’t even comparable, with these two events only a couple months apart, it was even harder to be resilient. It was a mild case of grieving under a very severe case.
Learning How to Grieve
I was racing through the stages of grieving like I’d get some shiny, golden star at the end of the level––like if I could quickly fight the spiderwebs in my mind, it would all be over and I could move on to the next stage. But grief doesn’t work that way.
While grieving may be a process, it’s definitely not a linear one. One of my many problems was that I was trying to identify the steps and rush through: “That was the denial. Then the anger set in. Depression for sure. Is this empty feeling acceptance?”
Just like in life, in grieving everything is constantly changing. One day I’ll think I know how I want to remember Hope and what I want to do with this experience. But the next day all of that just doesn’t work. Maybe it’s a matter of letting yourself deal with it how you need to at the time and being open to that changing.
What I’m Learning:
1. It’s okay to be grateful and consider how the situation could have been worse. But it’s also necessary to acknowledge what actually happened.
2. This isn’t a time to be a people pleaser. Take time to let yourself heal. If you’re not up to certain social events or seeing certain people, just say no.
3. Maybe this is an opportunity for me to accept that I can’t control everything and to even find some peace in the lack of control as I move forward.
What It All Means
I mentioned my struggles to a couple of good friends and they brought up a good point: Americans are impatient. We rush through things. And some of us feel like we don’t have time to grieve or that we need to heal quickly. But let’s not put that pressure on each other. We need to give ourselves permission to fall apart and not call it weakness, not call it craziness, just call it grieving.