Grief: deep sorrow (sadness, misery, pain, heartache)
I’ve been thinking a lot about grief and how people process difficult situations. The past week has been hard for a number of reasons. You know that terrible cliche “When it rains, it pours” saying? Yeah, lately it’s felt very true.
Last week Tuesday night, Casey’s cousin was killed in a plane crash. It was a freak accident and our whole family and the entire community are completely rocked by it. Flying has always been a significant part of Casey’s family; his grandfather was a commercial pilot for many years, which instilled a passion that was passed down through the family and has become a lifestyle for a few.
The service for him, which was held at the airport, was one of the hardest gatherings I’ve ever been a part of. Watching young people break down in each others arms and the long lone line of people coming to pay their respects was overwhelming. There isn’t anything to say about it besides it isn’t fair and he was taken too soon. We won’t ever forget about the sweet soul that now flies high in the heavens. Max was a smart, ambitious young man who lived his life in such a full way. His spirit and fearlessness will live on and continue to be an inspiration to all of us. Every time I think about it, the tears are so quick to fill my eyes, and I try to pause and say a silent prayer for those I love.
Last week we also found out some disappointing news about my dad’s cancer treatments. While what he’s been doing so far has been working (a reason to celebrate), the cancer is still rearing it’s ugly head. We have a long way to go, and the fight will continue. We’re learning how to quickly pivot and focus on a new treatment path, always hopeful and always cautious to keep the big picture in mind. We’re continuing to be optimistic, and try to live each day with happiness and positivity.
The thing about grief is that everyone processes and feels it in unique ways. The biggest thing I’ve learned about the past week is that having empathy is essential. I’ve found myself in varying stages of sadness, disbelief, anger and somehow, acceptance. While I may be in a headspace where I just can’t talk about it – a family member might really need to talk… so we have to shift, flex and focus on how we’re all healing together.
Talking About It
Getting all of the information is important to me. I need to understand as much as I can and I like to trade my thoughts and ideas with people around me. This blog counts as talking about it, putting it down in written word feels like therapy and reminds me that if I’m going through something, someone else is very likely also going through it. Sharing in our grief is powerful and can also be very healing.
Reflecting About It
There’s a strong power in silence. Over the course of the past week I’ve found myself lost in reflection on a number of occasions. When we’re laying in bed about to shut off our brains for the night, on an extra long run around the neighborhood and during a quiet minute at work. While sharing with others is healing, it’s equally as important to work through grief on your own.
Do Your Best
Everyone you ask will tell you how best to heal from something tragic. But the single most important part is to remember to take your time. It’s also totally okay to allow yourself to break down and not be okay. All that matters is you do your best – keep your chin up and remember there are blessings all around us.
Wednesday included two very hard phone calls, and two different sets of sadness. There’s no other way to describe that day but hard and tragic. We’re grieving over here, and all in different ways. I’m thankful for the innocence of my kiddo – who keeps seeing the happiness in the little things. His snuggles and giggles keep us going and remind me that there will continue to be joy even during this hard time.