I hope you had a fantastic week! I have been spending a lot of time pausing, thinking, feeling, and emerging. I say emerging because after my father died, I retreated into a bit of a cocoon. I say there was Chere before her dad passed away, and there is Chere after her dad passed away. I am still unwrapping who that Chere is now. Navigating this path of grief is far from easy; it has its own rhythm and surprises.
Some days, I feel like I'm making progress, finding the strength to get through, but then, without warning, grief strikes back with the force of a bulldozer, and I'm back to square one. Yet, despite the ups and downs, I continue to dance with grief. We take turns leading, and sometimes, I find the strength to lead the way. I wanted to share a few things that have helped me in case you are in this dance with grief, too, whether it is an actual physical death, a death of a relationship, or an ending to something in your life.
It's okay not to be okay! Remember, there's no time limit on grieving. Take as much time as you need and be where you are unapologetically. You don't have to put on a happy face to make others feel comfortable. Your feelings are valid, and it's crucial to honor them.
Seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness. While God is our ultimate source of comfort, remember that He gifted people to be therapists and doctors for a reason – to assist and guide us through difficult times. Don't hesitate to seek a therapist if you need someone to walk alongside you in your healing journey. Sometimes, an outside perspective can help you delve into the core of your pain and find new ways to cope.
During this challenging period, prioritize self-care. Though it may feel like your feet are stuck in cement, commit to doing at least one thing a week that brings you joy. It could be as simple as getting your eyebrows waxed (like I did yesterday; see the photo :) or engaging in an old hobby that once brought you happiness.
4. Feeling stuck in a rut? Shake things up by trying something new! Stimulate your brain in different ways and explore activities that bring out your creativity. For instance, I recently bought canvas and paints and revisited an old pastime of mine from my late 20s. There was paint everywhere, but boy, did I sleep well that night!
5. Mourn, cry, and honor. I cry, and I am okay with that. Sometimes the tears roll without ceasing, but I know it is all part of immense love for my father and the life we all shared together. Honor whatever it is you are mourning because it mattered, it happened, and it added to who you are right now.
I find comfort in knowing that although I had the biggest loss, I also had the biggest love, and isn't that what makes life so beautiful?
I hope your weekend is filled with love, kindness, and grace!