• Reesa

Complicated Grief

By definition Grief is deep sorrow, caused by someone's death. It can also be caused by a breakup of a friendship, romantic partner, death of a pet. There are so many ways to grieve too. Hide the pain, push it down, lash out, cry, become angry. There will always be this sadness hovering around, catch you off guard and become overwhelming. But slowly it starts to fade, the sorrow isn't as sharp, the tears lessen. Happy memories take over the memory of death.

When losing someone the grief can engulf your senses and often seem like there is no way out. The light has dimmed and nothing is left but to cry and let the sad and angry emotions take over. It feels like there is no end, but I am here to tell there is a light, that the darkness steadily seeps out and the light becomes brighter.

I lost my mom in 2020, it will almost be a year since she has passed and grief has etched itself into my soul. I'm familiar with grief, I lost my dad at 19, so now I'm technically an orphan. An old orphan. When my dad passed unexpectedly, it left me with emotions I never dealt with. My grandparents passed when I was 3 so I never understood death. I never experienced the loss of a loved one before. I felt sad when my parents divorced and my mom moved away but it still didn't feel as strong as when I lost both my parents. It changes a person, grief and death, the loss of something important and meaningful. It made me more cynical, made me want to rush out there and live the life my parents never got to experience. Live a life that is deemed socially unacceptable. Not sure what I was thinking but at the time I wanted to rebel, I only got as far as getting a few tattoos, and dying my hair purple. My anxiety decided adventures weren't going to be a thing for me. Maybe an adventure to the grocery store. I still have that wanderlust that will always be with me though.

One year later, I am still figuring out how to process my emotions, to be vulnerable and be ok with just letting go. Its not an overnight process, as much as I wish I could wake up and not feel the sad, the hurt, the anger. But these emotions remind us we are still alive and human. Grief is complicated its an ever changing emotion. All we can do is let the tears fall, let the anger out, the sadness, but slowly piece ourselves together. Know that we are worthy of life and to live it in the memory of those passed. Live the life that you want to live and make your own choices in the freedom you have been granted. One thing that grief has taught me is that life will always surprise you, never hold off on something until you think you are ready because honestly you never will be ready. If it feels right then do it. Follow your instinct. If it feels wrong, run the other direction .

Below is passage from a self help book I have been reading and this hit home for me. Just keep going.

“You did not ask to be born, but you are here. You have weaknesses as well as strengths. You have both because in life there is two of everything. Within you is the will to win, as well as the willingness to lose. Within you is the heart to feel compassion as well as the smallness to be arrogant. Within you is the way to face life as well as the fear to turn away from it. . . . Being strong means taking one more step toward the top of the hill, no matter how weary you may be. It means letting the tears flow through the grief. It means to keep looking for the answer, though the darkness of despair is all around you. Being strong means to cling to hope for one more heartbeat, one more sunrise. Each step, no matter how difficult, is one more step closer to the top of the hill. To keep hope alive for one more heartbeat at a time leads to the light of the next sunrise, and the promise of a new day. The weakest step toward the top of the hill, toward sunrise, toward hope, is stronger than the fiercest storm. Keep going.”

A Lakota Sioux grandfather to his grandson

from Keep Going: The Art of Perseverance by Joseph M. Marshall III

Dayton, Tian . The ACOA Trauma Syndrome: The Impact of Childhood Pain on Adult Relationships (p. 36). Health Communications Inc. Kindle Edition.

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