I'm diving deep into something really personal today- grief. Specifically, I’m talking about my current walking through losing my Uncle Kurt. This journey has highlighted the importance of self-care and navigating it during the grieving process. The significance of how it can affect your mental health and wellness while you ride the waves of grief's brutal river.
Grief is complex and full of emotions, unique to every individual. When my Uncle passed away, it was as if the earth stood still and time froze. My grief hit a pause button for a few days while the familiarity of my daily tasks was suddenly replaced by family check-ins and the logistics of planning. The sadness, loss, and nostalgia eventually found me after my to-do list ended, and my brain had time to catch up to my heart. Navigating the loss of your loved one never comes easy, and you are never truly prepared you simply just flow and bend where it takes you like the waves breaking against the ocean rocks.
I often have to remind myself to be grounded and simply breathe that just like the tides' ever-changing waves, so is my grief.
I stop and gently remind myself of these things when I am overcome by it all.
Grief is Not Linear
My journey through grief doesn't follow have to be linear. Some days are better than others, and there is no set timeline for healing. It's perfectly okay to allow myself the space to just "be" in my feelings without judgment or pressure to "move on" quickly.
My Feelings, My Permission
The way I process the death of my Uncle is mine and mine alone. I don’t have to apologize for crying too much, for avoiding people, or simply being unable to find words. I allow myself to feel my anger for lost time and missed opportunities. Point blank, I give myself permission to feel ALL.
Self-Care in Grief
Y’all already know my motto is self-care, you first, but prioritizing my needs has been a struggle. When you're the one who usually takes care of others, it's tough to turn that care inward. I've learned that it's okay to take a step back, rest, nourish myself, and to do only the things I need. It has helped me to present in the grieving process as it moves through me physically and emotionally.
You know I love me some therapy, so seek professional help when you think you need it!
Lean on Your People
Let those around you – family, friends, support groups – share in your grief. The calls I received reminiscing about my Uncle's chillaxed nature and love for gardening have brought me comfort. Sometimes, just knowing you're not alone can bring immense comfort. And remember, asking for help isn't a sign of weakness, but a step towards resilience.
Embrace the Unexpected
There will be unexpected waves of sadness and a longing for what's lost. I am learning to embrace the moments, for it means I loved Uncle Kurt; he had an impact and will be missed. It’s a testament to the love you have for them and will continue to have. I find comfort in memories, old photos, and stories others share about him, and I hope you do too when others talk about your loved ones too.
Prayer and Music – My Mindfulness
I've always found comfort in prayer and music, as it is medicine to my soul. They ground me, connect me to my feelings, and bring me back when I'm feeling a bit zombie-like. It's amazing how much peace prayer has given me, which has profoundly impacted my mental health and wellness. God's grace is sufficient!
While I continue to miss Uncle Kurt, I can't help but realize the lesson in this journey of deeper discovery, the fragility of human life, the beauty of God's presence all around, and healing and growth. Grief is a reminder of our shared humanity – and my ability to allow myself to be vulnerable, remember, cry, laugh, be still, and heal. If you are on this journey, remember to be gentle with yourself, and I hope sharing my story helps you feel less alone while you navigate your grief.
Until next time, be kind to your mind.