Love & Loss

If you’ve followed me on Instagram, you’ll know that my grandmother passed away a month ago. Everyday I think about her – we were close… really close. We shared a room and bed together for almost 12 years of my life until I got a room of my own. Let’s just say I have a big family. And everyday since her last day, it feels like I have this huge empty hole in my heart. I try and remember that she’s in a better place… but that idea is so fluffy. Who knows if she really is?

What I do know is that Drake is the bomb dot com, and like he says, “When a good thing goes bad, it’s not the end of the world – it’s just the end of a world.”

I’m aware that the context of that song has nothing to do with my grandmother passing away, but that lyric has always stuck with me because nothing is really that “bad”. It’s irrelevant to me whether or not she’s “in a better place” or in another world or space in time. All I need to know is that she doesn’t need to endure the suffering that she felt in the last few days of her life. I miss her being physically here, but I’ve never lost her love and I won’t ever.

Grief is the last act of love we have to give to those we loved. Where there is deep grief, there was great love.

Losing someone you love is never easy but it’s possible to move on and find light at the end of the tunnel. Hell, you could even grieve over the “healthier-self” you used to be (click here to read more about it in a previous post). I’ve weathered through it all, and I’ve thrived afterwards. I’m not an expert or a professional but I have survived, so here is what I’ve been doing.

1. Give yourself time to feel
If you’re feeling happy, sad, angry, frustrated, and so on, let yourself be! The worst is forcing yourself to fake a smile whether you are grieving a loss or not. It’s okay to feel the way that you do – everyone copes differently.

Not sure how you feel? That’s ok too. Eventually it’ll come to you. You don’t need to sit on a thinking rock and hope that you can problem solve your way through this one. Just let it be and live your life as you would before. Something will eventually remind you of them, and guide you to your true feelings.

2. Press “play” on life
Yes – you can sob in bed or punch pillows, but you’ll know when enough is enough. You’ll have to return back to your good ol’ routine. This was the hardest for me – we had family visiting and spent the first week mourning with them. I noticed she was really really really gone for good when they left and I had to press “play” on life again.

I forced myself to keep on moving because this type of pain will hurt less as time goes on (you all know that I’m a fan of routine). I was often reminded of her, even when I was mincing garlic one evening! She was the first person who taught me how to mince garlic, and unlike cutting onions, the garlic made me cry this time. I’m still remembering her in different ways now and thoughts of her start to make me smile or laugh. Sometimes I just take comfort in knowing I’ll never forget her.

3. There is no “to-do” list or “shoulds”
I hope you don’t interpret these suggestions as a “to-do” list, or what you “should” be doing or feeling. These are just the helpful steps I took unknowingly. When I tried to tell myself, “I should be feeling/doing this…”, it made things way more painful. As much as you should return back to your routine, you don’t have to! If you’re not ready, you’re not ready.

Everyone grieves differently, in different ways, and at a different pace, so there is no need to compare my progress to yours and vice versa. I hope some of these things that have helped me will help you, but I hope you don’t hold it close to your heart and tell yourself you should do it this way. Like always, I’m here and just a message/comment away.

xoxo,
Joanne

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