To Grieving Women:
From Leslie, Grieving the Loss of her Baby:
Don’t be strong.
People will tell you, “Be strong, everything will be okay.” But they say this so that they can be comfortable around you. They say this so it will be easier for them to process what you are experiencing.
However, you have endured a devastating blow to your psyche, your spirit, your physical body, and to the very essence of your femininity. You will question yourself, you will blame yourself, you will be angry at yourself and at God. And I say… it’s okay to be weak; it’s okay to cry; it’s okay to grieve; it’s okay to be vulnerable; it’s okay to cry out to God and ask why; it’s okay to struggle with purpose and value and worth; it’s okay to keep to yourself and be alone.
You need not be strong for others, you need to be weak for yourself. If you acknowledge this, you can be rebuilt; you can fortify yourself; you can recover.
Most importantly in this situation: Be selfish. You have no obligation to anyone else- for your recovery will not come through a display in strength. Recovery comes through acknowledgement of pain, breaking down, an rebuilding.
From Brianna, Grieving the Loss of her Significant Other:
I believe that God WILL put more on you than you can bear. At that very moment when you feel like “this is too much”, that’s when you surrender and turn it over to God… because if I could bear it all, I may have never cried out to God and given it to him.
Find a support group or other people who’ve been through what you’ve been through. Because I talked about my loss on Facebook, a female reach out to me and said, “Sis, I’ve been where you are!” She encouraged me and was a constant person in my life during that time.
Through prayer, the Lord gave me the vision to start my own support group for women who’ve lost a significant other during pregnancy. It’s called “Daughters of Zion” based on Zephaniah 3:14.
Also because of Facebook, I was led to various women around the country who’ve been through similar situations. We comfort each other, and to this day still check in on birthdays, anniversaries of deaths, etc for our loved ones.
I talk more about experience on a blog I started called Buzzy Mom the Queen Bee. Feel free to check out my blog post on faith. It might help you in someway. http://buzzymomthequeenbee.com/2017/07/11/faith-it-until-you-make-it-then-faith-it-some-more/
From Natalie, Grieving the Loss of her Dad:
There are really no words that can be given to someone who loses a parent at a young age.
If I could say anything to my younger self, it would be to keep moving forward. Some days will be easier than others, but if you just keep moving forward you give yourself the opportunity heal.
When I am grieving I do my best to stay busy. I try not to dwell on the current situation as much as possible.
When my dad died, I went to counseling (with my mom and without her). The counselor suggested I write a letter to him expressing my anger, sadness, regrets, etc.
To stay grounded, lean upon other family members and perhaps take up reading as an outlet for escaping to somewhere else.
From Adrian, Grieving the Loss of her Mother:
God has a plan much bigger than you can see right now. He’s working through people and circumstances, and he has chosen and prepared us for the things we will experience and endure. You may not understand it right now, but trust God, trust the process.
Crying is natural because loss of a loved one hurts. Cry if you need to but you should remember that crying should not debilitate you or keep you from being able to do anything else.
Once you’ve stopped crying, find a way to honor the person you loved and lost, by scrap-booking, small memorial/vigil, dedication of your accomplishments to their memory, etc. and share your memory of them to others.
I must admit that I stay busy. Time keeps on moving, even when you don’t feel like getting out of bed. I don’t dwell on my pain. I keep going with time. And I make time to celebrate my loved one along the way.
I promote healthy living, working out, and playing sports because it doesn’t matter how I feel before I get started, I always feel good after a great workout.
From Zuri, Grieving the Loss of Both Parents:
The coping mechanism I used to deal with grief was personal growth. I saw it as a way to work on bettering myself. I started to take better care of myself (exercise, eat right, travel, have more “me” time). I started getting plenty of rest each day and doing things that nurtured my well-being. These things allowed me to move forward.
I also started to seek spiritual enlightenment. This was hard for me because I couldn’t understand why God would take my only surviving parent.
Through it all, I learned that God shines the brightest light in the darkest moments. He shows up right when we need him the most. Somehow I managed to find grace in the midst of grief.
from my experience there are stages of grief that people experience:
- Accepting the reality of the loss of your loved one (realizing they are physically dead, funeral, burial).
- The pain of grief (bottling up emotions, rejection of feelings, avoidance, trying to stay strong etc).
- Adjusting to the living environment with your loved ones not being there by investing emotional energy into other healthy meaningful relationships.
What keeps me grounded when I’m struggling with grief is my loved one’s memory/celebration of life/ honoring their memory.
If/when I have kids I plan on using my parents’ names.
I try to help others more because my mom was such a nice, caring, helpful person.
I do things that would bring them honor. I donate to charities that had something to do with their profession etc . I often reflect on my parents as a person and the memories we created.
I thank God that I was able to have them and spend time with them.
From KG, Grieving the Loss of her Grandparents:
Cry for YOU.
I first lost my maternal grandfather. He was a cornerstone of our family and undoubtedly loved by all. But, I’m not sure anyone loved him quite like my mom.
Seeing the affect his death took on her made me feel obligated to be her strength. I tried so hard to be strong for her that I forgot to take time to cry for me and my own loss of him.
A year passed, and I found myself distant from my mom in someways- plus I began experiencing random breakdowns of my own.
I came to realize that the fallout stemmed from the fact that I never gave myself an opportunity to take my own moment to grieve. In someways, I’d become upset about it as time went on. But it was no one’s fault but my own. I’d made that decision without ever being asked to take on the burden of strength when I was really weak.
Earlier this year when I lost my paternal grandmother, I was determined not to make that same mistake. I cried as much as I wanted to. I allowed myself to think of her without pushing her out of my head to avoid a breakdown. I expressed my regrets. I let myself be human.
It’s your grief. You can cry if you want to. And that’s exactly what I did.
Crying doesn’t make you weak, it cleanses the soul.
And once you’re all cried out for the moment (because there will always be birthdays or special occasions that re-open the wound), use your life to honor them. Fill your heart with all the amazing memories that make you laugh until you almost pee. Be someone they can be proud of. Be better for them.