Hear me out. I’m not saying let it take over your entire life for months and months.
But … you might need to let it take over your life for a few hours. A day. A few days. You are allowed space to process your grief and let it move through you.
It might not move through you entirely, and that’s to be expected. Grieving is a difficult process. It makes us very uncomfortable. We often fear that if we truly let it wash over us, we’ll never surface. So, we use coping mechanisms. We distract ourselves. We numb. We suppress it and tell ourselves we’ll deal with it at a more a convenient time. But when is it ever convenient to deal with grief? So we just keep putting it off, pushing it down. We let ourselves cry for a little while and then we cut ourselves off, deciding that it’s been enough, we should be doing better.
And then, weeks later, months later, we’re still not doing better. And we wonder why.
When we stuff our emotions instead of letting them come up and run their course, we block our own energy from flowing freely. And when we do this, we feel like shit. Sure, it’s not as intense in the short term. But it lingers, and it festers, and it manifests in other ways – sickness, moodiness, anger, depression, mental health troubles, even dis-ease. We aren’t doing well, and by the time we realize it, we think that we aren’t allowed to still be feeling this way. After all, it happened ages ago now. We should be “over it”.
How can we get over something we never allowed full presence in the first place?
We don’t believe we deserve time and space to process our grief. Even more importantly, we deeply fear doing so. We fear losing control of ourselves – and sometimes, that’s exactly what needs to happen. We have to surrender to the emotions so that we can allow them to run their course.
I recently suffered a loss. I wasn’t terribly close to that person anymore, but they had a deep impact on me and my life nonetheless. I grieved. I grieved intensely. I cried all day long, and then I got into the river and laid there and screamed at the sky. I cried some more. I spoke to them and told them everything I wish I had said when they were still here, everything that I was feeling about their passing. I kept talking, and writing, and expressing all the anger and sadness and regret I felt.
It was intense. I felt like hell for a few days. But, I discovered something.
I don’t usually let myself express grief fully either. I usually cut myself off at some point because I have “things I need to do”. And guess what? I still had things I needed to do. But I decided, fuck it. This is more important. Allowing myself this is the most important thing I need to do right now. And though it was exhausting, though it felt overwhelming in the moment – I let it move through me. Because I let it move, I feel free now. I’m still sad. This person is still ever present on my mind. But I am not immobilized. I’m not obsessing. I let my deepest grief move through and out of me.
That’s why I’m sharing this story today – because I think it’s the first time I’ve really let myself move through grief this fully. And it feels much, much better than suppressing it and numbing myself. It isn’t easy, but it’s worth feeling like my energy is moving the way it should. It’s worth not making myself feel terrible for weeks because I’m in denial of what I feel, because I don’t think I’m worthy of feeling it so deeply.
I hope that this helps you in your own dealings with grief. It’s part of the human condition, so it’s essential that we learn to handle it in ways that don’t hurt us more than they heal us. I’m so grateful for this breakthrough in my own journey. It feels major, even if it doesn’t look like much.
You’ve got this. You are strong enough to face your emotions, even when they’re deep as hell. That’s just a reflection of your beauty. I love you.