Have you ever experienced grief? If you answer no, from a personal perspective, you’re probably wrong. Again, this is my opinion and view, so if you don’t like it that’s cool, no one’s forcing you to read some random chick’s blog. I’m sharing my experience(s) so maybe, just maybe, I can bring hope and encouragement to even just one other human out there who needs it.
We’ve been trained to only associate grief with death of people, but I believe it’s death of more than just loved ones. I believe this because I have had direct experiences of grief in so many layers and aspects in my life. I’ve experienced the most usual known grief, the one associated with losing a loved one. It’s been almost ten years since my brother left this earth and grief will randomly hit me in the middle of a Tuesday just to check in, ya know? Okay so maybe you don’t know. And that’s fine. But have you ever looked back at old photos and felt a bit of fomo or sadness for how things used to be? Maybe that slammin yoga bod you used to have? Or all the fun you used to have going out for bevies with the lads? We can also experience grief from the death of old versions of ourselves. Does that click at all? Let’s try another example out for fun. Have you ever experienced a heartbreak from the split with a significant other or a friendship? We can go through the depths of grief from this type of experience too. My colorful life has had more deaths and rebirths than I can keep track of. My experiences have led to the loss of different versions of me, places I’ve loved, people I’ve loved, tastes, smells, events, jobs....I’ve already lost track. I always thought I had to “be strong” and just let things change. Well, I think that’s partly true. We gotta flow with the changing seasons of life and let things be, but we’re also here to FEEL. We’re here to feel and experience all the highs and lows, every single emotion. Grief is one of those unspoken about and untaught emotions because it makes people uncomfortable. It’s also been narrowed down to being associated with the death of a loved one, so, when we start to go through the motions of grief from experiences outside of death of a person, we question or doubt ourselves and suppress the cycles of grief for that experience. It can lead to problems later, like when we randomly explode from overwhelm and can’t seem to figure out why then BAM some unresolved emotions come up from an experience we should have naturally grieved but didn’t cos society is like HEY NAH MAN UP YOU’RE FINE. No matter your gender, race, age, whatever...grieving is natural and necessary to fully understand our experiences and evolve. It can lead to breakthroughs, epiphanies, and eventually maybe even the spark for new thoughts, ideas, pathways, and possibilities. I know I’ve been on both sides of this. I’ve suppressed grief..for YEARS. And I’m still picking up the pieces from it. It’s much harder to deal with later than in the moment. It’s like when you start running, give up, then try to start up again out of the blue. It’s really fucking hard. And you don’t get it. “Hey I used to be able to do this” it’s like leaving yourself on a cliffhanger and it sucks. Unfortunately, I chose alcohol, drugs, and bad sex to cloud the ocean of grief I was trying to avoid. However, I can say that I’ve seen the other side by finally deciding to face my grief head on. It’s opened up doors to experiences I never imagined. It’s shown me how much of a badass, intelligent, cool, kind, compassionate and strong person I am. It’s shown me how fucking silly it is to get hung up on little things in life cos...it truly is short and fast so I would rather be experiencing emotions as they come and moving forward than suppressing them in unhealthy ways and ignoring them until it puts myself and loved ones at risk for unhappiness. I think after 2020 and the encore of the shit show rollin on into 2021, we all are or have experienced grief. In my own life, I’m currently grieving the places and dreams I had that got put on hold because of the pandemic or crushed completely. And that’s okay. I’m also grieving the loss of certain friendships and versions of me. My accidental gypsy soul is on hold from accidental gypsy-ing and I’m grieving. And that’s FINE. Well, today. Might freak out tomorrow. But that’s also FINE. The point is, be gentle with yourself and allow yourself to recognize that it’s okay to grieve the loss of people, places, jobs, pets,things...it’s your experience. Don’t compare it to anyone else’s. Be brave enough to recognize where you’ve swept grief under the rug and commit to dealing with it so you can move forward into bigger and better things. Im unsure if grief ever ends, but I do know it gets less heavy over time and can turn out to be one of our biggest strengths. If who you’re surrounded by is uncomfortable with you talking about your geief, they’re not your people. Don’t let society fool you it’s “uncool” to talk about, it’s uncool to shame people for feeling. Of course, there’s a time and place...know your audience. Be alone when you need it and ask for help and support when you need it too. We’re all in this weird life together. -J