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Grief and Growth

Can I be transparent? The past few months have been rough. Truly, the longer you live, the more you’ll see and experience – both positive and negative. Of course, this includes loss. Although expected as a normal part of life, we don’t always get the benefit of bracing ourselves or preparing mentally for it. Each loss, whether a loved one, mentor, dear friend, or icon hits in a profoundly different way. All are very real and sometimes simply earth-shattering. I’ve been in a season of loss and losing. Loved ones and friends have transitioned, and others are experiencing life-threatening illness and rapid health decline. I know I’m not alone in this, but grief can often feel SO. LONELY. I’ll share with you what is helping me to stay grounded in this heavy time:

 

  1. Make every moment count. Okay, okay… I didn’t say this would be a particularly novel approach. You’ve heard time and again how important it is to live every moment to the fullest because time is finite. Yes. And… being intentional about the time we spend with loved ones allows for sweet memories to be made, truths to be heard, and life-shaping wisdom to be gained.  Slow down, listen, give eye contact, lock in, and be so very intentional about even the most mundane of moments with the people you love.

  2. Be gentle with yourself. Anyone who has lost someone close to them will attest that grief comes in waves. Sometimes you are coasting along feeling just fine, and out of nowhere sorrow will come crashing down in an instant. Those are the days when you must give yourself the grace and the space to feel what you feel without any judgment or condemnation. Lean in to the pain. Wrap yourself in the memories you shared, and wait it out. It will pass.

  3. Don’t expect normal. The time after losing someone feels surreal for a reason. It is. Everything changed the instant you entered into a chapter of life that will not feature that person as a central character. Life without them is new and different. You’ll have to adjust to what this new life is like. A new normal will be defined, although nothing about it will feel normal for some time. Eventually, you’ll get your footing. You’ll learn to navigate this new terrain, and you may even meet joy on the journey.

  4. Ask for help. There is no shame in admitting that sometimes grief is just too much to carry on your own. Know that in addition to the folks around you, there are also resources available for those in crisis or even just needing an ear. 211 is a nationwide phone line to assist in connecting those in need with resources. This includes mental health support. 988 is a crisis text line for those who need immediate mental health support. Both are confidential, free, and available in multiple languages.

 

Friend, we will get through this.  We’ll find our new normal.  We’ll feel like ourselves again. And we will see growth on the other side of our grief. Meanwhile, know that you’re not alone and I’m wishing you every good thing today and always.

 

Onward!

 

NK

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