Why is grief so hard to talk about? Why do people try to act like it doesn't exist? Or worse yet, if it is not acknowledged, it will eventually go away! If only that last statement were true!
The only way to handle grief is to talk about it, to express those feelings, to give some sort of direction to the confusion that you feel, and to just know you are not alone. Grief exists, it does not simply go away or vanish into thin air if people act like it never happened. For me, it has been almost seven years now since Rachel passed away, and I still talk about missing her, and wishing she were here right now. My pain has eased, and the grief no longer is debilitating, but there is still a longing. Gratefully this longing has been filled by a deep knowledge that my daughter walks beside me each and every day, a constant presence in my life.
What helped me then, and continues to help, was finding a person or persons who were willing to just listen, even when my words were mere ramblings. People who let me share my story and Rachel's story, people who did not judge or look down at me because of my words and actions. Individuals who looked beyond the outer trappings of my grief, recognizing the hurting person within my outward shell.
It is not always easy to find such support, but one must keep searching, eventually you will find a person or persons who willingly walk beside you. These individuals can range from family members, close friends or even strangers. They can come in the form of counseling or support groups. They can be found in your work, school or faith community. Hospitals, doctors and other health care facilities offer help or can direct you to support systems. The key is to take that first step, and utter those words that for me were one of the hardest to say, "I need help!" "I can't do this alone."
Even after admitting I needed help, it took me several times before fear, anger and pushing my pride aside, allowed me to let the help I so desperately needed to begin to bear fruit. It took three sessions with my counselor to finally realize she only wanted to help. It took three attempts before I finally walked into my first support group. And it took two or three sessions before I felt comfortable enough to share with the group.
Anything that alters our lives in any way, requires us to re-adjust routines, or creates a change in us, takes time. Regardless of the cause of the changes, we have to face our hopes and dreams, our fears and uncertainties, and sometimes learn to walk all over again. Taking baby steps, until we are able to walk boldly and even begin to run again.
Remember to give yourself time and to give that helping hand a chance to make a difference in your life. Don't be afraid to meet it half way, or if that is hard, to allow it all the way into your life.
Blessings! and until we meet again.