Dear Grieving Heart,
Do you feel mad about your grief?
I’ve felt so mad. Mad that I’m in this space. That I’m navigating a “new normal” that I didn’t ask for.
Angry that my person is gone, my world crumbled. I don’t always feel safe, I feel exposed and raw.
I hate the way they died, I hate how I found out, I hate the lack of goodbye in my story.
I feel lonely. Like no one can actually understand the enormity of my grief.
There are so many different emotions crashing against the insides of me that I end up erupting. And then I feel bad for losing my cool, and there’s this vicious cycle occurring inside me of feeling like I’m all jumbled up, I don’t have a way to deal with it, and then someone says the wrong thing or looks at me wrong or slows me down and I just… snap.
All of my insides feel fragile and broken down. Nothing inside makes sense. It doesn’t feel right, everything is out of place. I am out of place.
I feel uneasiness in my own skin – the skin I’ve known for a long time, but now doesn’t seem to be my own anymore.
My brain doesn’t feel like it’s working right – the fog is so thick, I don’t feel like I can see straight some days.
Do you feel like anger is sometimes a safe place? It feels like it puts a buffer around me and my heart, forcing others to give me space. I want others to both go away and leave me alone, but also to come closer to me, to hug me and support me and understand me…
And so many of them can’t.
A whole other layer of my grief – all the other losses along the way. I didn’t just lose Jon, I lost so much more.
I went to a support group.
I met some amazing people, fellow grievers. They got it.
I felt an opening being created in my chest, even if just for the 90-minutes that the group was together.
I felt myself overwhelmed with understanding and compassion, a whole room of people who nodded their heads while I shared about my grief and talked about all my craziness and my tears in the grocery store and the lashing out at others and the mix up of emotions I battle every day.
They all nodded.
They heard me and saw me.
I felt a wave of relief to be understood.
I didn’t hear cliches, I didn’t feel dismissed about my experiences.
They didn’t try to “fix me”. They held me in their hearts, they offered hugs after. I even went out for coffee with one of them after a meeting, relieved to have even made a friend.
The me from before left with my person. And my heart breaks and re-breaks every day. I’m a jumbled up mess, dealing with an overwhelming amount, and yet I sat with a group of people who embraced me for exactly where I was.
I didn’t know how much I needed that very thing.
So my unsolicited advice for you: if your emotions are eating you up inside, clawing their way out, if you feel lost and alone and afraid and depressed and anxious and guilt-ridden and all the many big and confusing things that can come up with grief… Find a group you can connect with. Because the right support… is priceless on this journey.
Thank you HeartLight Center for being that space for me. I found you, and now I don’t want to leave!
I know I will be a griever for the rest of my life, and having companions who get it means more than I ever knew possible.
As I make “progress” in my life (hey I’m not crying every single day anymore, I guess that’s progress!), I am reminded by these fellow group members that I can still have a relationship with my person, I don’t have to “let go”, I can have a safe space for my grief even if not everywhere will be welcoming of it, that I am “normal” despite that I feel crazy a lot.
Anyway, if I can wish anything onto you, my dear fellow griever with the heavy breaking heart… Find a group, it can be just the thing to help.
Written by: Ally Smith