Grief is complicated
The thing about grief and loss is it comes in it's seasons and in waves. Today is the anniversary of my dad's passing and it has been 13 years since he transitioned. I don't think one can ever get used to loosing a loved one and each year I realize more and more is grief is like waves in the ocean. At times the ocean is calm, and then at times the tide picks up and the waves crash against the ocean. This precisely how it has been for the past 13 years since I lost my father. The thing about losing a parent who you are so close with at a very young age is you miss them during pivotal milestones in your life. This morning when I woke up, I felt great. However a few days ago I was a total wreck I cried I didn't want to speak to anyone and just wanted to be in silence.
I have allowed myself to feel emotions over the years and for them to flow however they wish. What is always so interesting is how much everyone else around you moves on from your loss and sometimes offer words that don't necessarily do anything for your comfort. In their human capacity it is what they feel is best to say. Sometimes you feel as if you are in a time warped zone and sometimes you think you are moving along. This is grief and I have learnt to accept it in its waves. Over the years, one of the ways I comfort myself about the loss of my father is that the reason we experience deep pain and loss is to be able to be a blessing to others when they are also going through those seasons of loss. It is embedded in my faith as believer and a Christian. I didn't arrive at that decision during the first decade of losing my father however. It took a close friend of mine losing a father and me speaking words of encouragement to them that made me realize that sometimes our of your pain a ministry of healing and encouragement can be birthed. I have learnt over the years that though I may not know the exact words to say, I am able to connect with people who have suffered sudden loss and offer encouragement to them. The reality is no one can speak to your pain of loss unless they have been through it . Even then the way we deal with loss and grief is really contingent on the individual.
Healing through loss
I think the Fall season makes grief a bit easier for me, but as we get closer to the holidays it becomes more evident and I withdraw more from others. One of the things that has helped me go through this grieving process is having rituals. One of my rituals is prayer and thanking God that I was able to experience a father for 21 years. I also pray and talk to God about why my dad had to leave us at such an early age. Over the years I have received some peace and have accepted that my father has passed on. Another ritual that helped me in one season of my life to grieve was therapy. I remember my first semester of graduate school, I received my first A on my paper and I picked up the phone to call my father. My father was the parent who was very much into my academic achievements as it pertains to grades. Sadly I hadn't realized in that moment that it had been a year after my father's passing and no one was picking up that phone call. In shock and total dismay and tears I realized I hadn't grieved a year after my father passed and I needed therapy. I spent over 5 years in therapy dealing with my loss and it helped me significantly having a therapist who was a professional in trauma and grief counseling. These rituals have helped me over the years. Me writing this piece Is a ritual of my journaling extended as a gift online to help anyone who may be dealing with grief and pain in this season.
I also give myself the liberty to do whatever I want to do during my father's passing anniversary and I pick something to do. What I am also learning is we have to create rituals around how we grieve and how we mourn. Sometimes I write down all of the memories I can recall of my father and I and journal about them. This year I started getting flowers for myself closer to the date of his passing and it has been helping just to brighten my mood and also to mourn my loss. At first I didn't realize my body was preparing for the season of grief and mourning but that was exactly what was happening!
So this year I share that if you are dealing with any grief or loss of a loved one and you are reading this, know that you are truly doing the best that you can. Think about what works best for your healing journey and give yourself the compassion you need along the journey, because it really is a journey. Do what is best for you, gather community around you, form a positive healing ritual that works for you closer to the time of the passing, and develop healing techniques that work for you for those unexpected moments of deep grief and pain.
The thing about loss and grief is it has its seasons. Some years you wake up and you celebrate the person and other years you wake up in total shambles and in tears. Only when you experience losing a parent you understand the deep pain and void it leaves behind. 13 years gone still one never gets used to loss. Thank God for having you in my life for 21 years. Rest in peace daddy
I hope this piece blesses whoever reads it and helps you in your healing journey.
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