Grieving is lonely, yet you cannot do it alone

Grieving is lonely

Grief is uncomfortable.
When you grieve it is a constant struggle to capture the wide range of emotions that occur not just within a week or a day, but each dang minute. It’s struggling to figure out what kind of support I need when people ask. It’s figuring out what to say when people reach out. Grief is uncomfortable. It’s an awkward silence that is always there laying under the surface.

People never know what they should say to you. Heck, most days I don’t know what to say. I used to get angry at people for being awkward and weird around me, but honestly, grief is uncomfortable. And, I don’t have an answer to make it easier for you or me.

Here are just a few things I continue to tell myself every day…

Everyone has a different grief journey. There is no right or wrong.

I will never get over it; however, I will move through it.

Nikolai’s suicide was not my fault.

It is okay to smile and experience joy.

Do not allow people to shame you for not being the parent they think you should have been. They did not walk in your shoes and cannot possibly fathom your life or that of your son’s.

Keep writing.

How I decide to grieve is up to me. Don’t let anyone tell me how to do it.

Be patient with myself.

There is no timeline for grief.

Therapy is hard but you need it.

Grieving is lonely, yet you cannot do it alone.

Moving forward doesn’t mean letting go.

You will survive.

For those of you looking to comfort someone going through grief, please remember that the absolute most important thing you can do is just listen. So many of us are “fixers” and all we want to do is help the person grieving so we offer advice on how to get through situations. I don’t want you to fix me. You can’t fix me. Stop trying to fix me. Just hear me out. Let me cry, let me vent, let me talk, let me scream.

When someone you care about is grieving, it can be difficult to know what to say or do. We struggle with so many intense and painful emotions, including depression, anger, guilt, and profound sadness. And for many of us, we feel isolated and alone in our grief. Remember that it is simply your support and caring presence that will help those of us grieving cope with the pain and gradually begin to heal.

Christmas is hard

This season of Christmas is harder than I ever could have imagined.

This season of Christmas is harder than I ever could have imagined. I knew it would be hard; however, I thought we would trudge through every day as we normally do – some of them good, some of them bad. I could not have been more wrong.

I have cried a little every single day since Thanksgiving. Every single day. I am snapping at people, saying hurtful things. I am angry, lonely and sad. Just so sad. I beg for your forgiveness. I beg for a little grace right now. I feel like I’m shutting down just a little bit more each day and it’s harder to pull it back together.

Last week I spent an hour sitting at Kola’s grave sobbing. Wishing so much that he was here. Christmas has always been his very favorite. He loves decorating the tree and putting the house lights up. He loves the parties, the company, the gifts, the giving, the traditions, the fun and family.

I find myself needing a break, but not willing or able to take one. I feel overwhelmed by everything. I am forgetting to text people back for days. I can’t put together a simple menu for family Christmas. Christmas shopping – ugh! I’m usually 99.9% done by Black Friday. I am really nowhere near done and I honestly don’t even have the energy to put into it. Christmas songs make me weepy. I cried pulling out each of his ornaments with tags bearing his name from his grandma and grandpa.

My heart is broken and screaming in pain. And, it’s not just me. All four of us are feeling it. Whether my children want to talk about it or not, a mom knows when they are hurting.

Two weeks from today is Christmas Day. We are doing all of our normal traditions. Honestly, we can’t imagine doing anything different. I already bought our tickets to see Star Wars on Christmas Day. But there is definitely a part of us that is and will be missing and it will be hard.

I know many of you also struggle this time of year. All I have to say is, you are not alone. We must give ourselves some grace and not feel bad about any of our emotions: good, bad or the very ugly. Immense love and hugs to all of you.