“Grief, I’ve learned, is really just love. It’s all the love you want to give but cannot give. Grief is just love with no place to go.” – Jamie Anderson

Hey Thrivers! Today’s topic is one that I felt I had to share now before moving onto other topics. I recently lost my grandmother, on January 1, to be exact. January had been an incredibly tough month for myself and my family. In fact, the past 2-3 years have been incredibly difficult for me.

In 2017, I lost my cousin to suicide. To say that my life shattered right before my eyes would be an understatement. I just remember having the hardest time figuring out what to make of life when it happened, constantly fighting my mental battles, always crying in the car, and just wishing time would stand still so I could just catch my breath. I remember not ever wanting to get off my bed and even staying in bed until the last minute when I would have to leave for work or college. It took my family and I a very long time before we were able to figure out how to function with that reality, and we are still figuring it all out.

During the latter half of 2018, I was finally starting to really focus on my mental and physical health. I think because I did that, my perspective has been a little different when it came losing my grandma. No matter what the case is, losing someone you love dearly is always painful. But I wanted to share what I have learned during this process with you if you are going through something similar and can empathize with me.

Coping with grief is a very fragile process in my eyes and it is a very different path for everyone. In my case, I just found that I had to take it day by day. When I lost my cousin, I wasn’t conscious of my surroundings or what I was feeding my mind. To be honest, I just turned my brain off to positive thinking. In turn, I think neglecting myself just led me deeper into my sadness. Don’t get me wrong, the sadness won’t just magically disappear one day. The heartache is still there and will always be there. But the goal is to figure out how to live this life with it.

So number one on my list is to be aware of what you browse through on social media, what you’re listening to, and what you’re attracting into your life in the aftermath. It will not help you if you’re surrounding yourself with negative thoughts and most importantly, negative people. The next thing I would recommend is ease your way into your routine. Do not ever feel like you need to get back into your daily life and give it 100%. Believe me, I would be in a different stage in life if I did that to myself, and not in a good one.

Another thing that helped me is everything that I was already doing in my morning routine was helping me with my mental health. I was journaling everyday, meditating, and taking my vitamins. Because I was working on it everyday, it really helped me overtime with my mental strength. So instead of falling into a never ending sadness cycle, I slowly started going back to the habits I developed before losing my grandma, one day at a time.

One major thing that may help you cope with your grief and has helped me tremendously is talking. Talk to anyone that is close to you, family or friends. Talk about how you’re feeling, talk about your memories, talk about your nightmares, talk about what you miss about that person, talk about how great they were.

But make sure you are letting your thoughts out. I did get in touch with a therapist for a brief time, several months after I lost my cousin. One of the main reasons I looked to a therapist is because I kept having nightmares that I just didn’t want to sleep at night. While it did help deepen my understanding of my grief, I think what helped more over time was talking to my loved ones who shared the same pain as me. The nightmares eventually stopped, thankfully.

The next thing that is also an important factor is your physical health. Make sure you get some sun, take a 5-minute walk, do some stretches in the morning, take a yoga class with a friend, watch what you’re eating. I was eating a lot of comfort foods too often and it just made me feel worse over time. Make conscious choices by talking to yourself and just always being aware. You may not be able to make the better choice each time, but it just starts with one choice.

In closing, I would just share that I would never expect anyone to pick up their life the next day after losing someone. I gave myself weeks and even months before taking the first step in the right direction, but the point is I took the first step, which was the hardest step. Another thing is, I don’t expect anyone to consistently keep moving forward. I took a few steps back multiple times but I still kept pushing.

It will take time but find your path whether that means sharing your loved one’s story to the world, building awareness about a topic like suicide prevention, or continuing their legacy. Whatever the case is, it’s your responsibility to get up. I believe in you. Take Care!

Posted by:aspiretothrive

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