Quality of grief is quality of life.
Life is painful. That’s just part of being here. No matter what–life is going to keep lifing at you. Things are unfair, hard circumstances happen. The people you love a lot will eventually die. Things change that are out of your control. Your quality of life is how you deal with that.
Grief is how you process the pain of life. Not everyone grieves, a lot of folks just distract themselves from pain instead of processing it. As the adult child of generational alcoholism I know how the behavior choices that avoid pain prevent strong emotionally safe relationships.
Alcoholism, much like The Corona Virus, is a disease of many losses.
I want the people in my life to thrive in my love. I want to thrive. So I’ve developed a bunch of grieving skills to help with that.
Something that has surprised me lately is how much sweetness there is in the grief process, if you allow it. When I used to walk around afraid to feel my feelings because I was afraid of my pain, I missed some sweet connections with my loved ones on the other side of the veil.
It’s called a veil because it is very thin–your loved one is as close as your breath. They still want to love you.
At this point I embrace processing my pain because I know when I don’t I just have to feel it later with interest! I’m not trying to live like that. Delay your pain you delay your true thrive! Your joy!
When my dad died on January 10, 2022 (not even of covid, he was hospitalized for pneumonia for the umpteenth time) it brought up a lot of painful childhood memories, trauma, all the things. Including grief about my step mom Liz’s death which I had not grieved well when I was 19 and she died suddenly at 48 years old.
I’ve found every subsequent death brings an echo of other unprocessed grief or needs to be newly or freshly processed.
But processing this new wave of Liz grief has been really sweet. I have learned more about her, reaching out to folks who knew her to add more to my story and relationship with her.
When someone passes away it’s been a great way to get to know them better. My relationship with my loved ones doesn’t end simply because we’re not on the same space rock hurtling through space together. It can continue to grow and mature as I grow and mature and understand them better.
Last night I was crusing my Spotify followers and found my beloved Femme Amanda Arkansassy Harris on my follower list. In a former emotional landscape I would have cried and been sad to remember the pain of losing her. Instead I was DELIGHTED.
I miss her but I also connect with her all the time. She’s on the other side peeking over the fence at my destiny and telling me how great it is. I need all the help I can get to keep going.
I keep saying on my podcast that it’s not a “grief podcast” but I talk about grieving a bunch. My life and my lessons–especially in this pandemic–have centered around leveling up how I grieve.
It’s taken me lots of time and intention to learn to process grief more and better. Shout out to my therapist! Normalize going to therapy like going to the gym.
Here are some good podcasts if you want support on your grief journey:
115. (Solo) Holiday Mourning, Holiday Mourning, Holiday Morning (this one is good for divorce grief, too)
There are more episodes about grief but that’s like 5 hours of content there.
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