With the death of so many lately, and most recently, of my daughter’s beloved dog, Amber, grief has become very real. Not surreal, which is dreamlike. More like a bad dream, or even a nightmare.
When I was grieving, my youngest son, Zeke, told me to let myself feel everything. He told me there’s nothing wrong in that and it’s part of healing. He should know as he has lived through the absolute worst year and a half of his life. So I listened. I did not bury my grief nor did I stifle it.
Feel the real.
I spent several days crying, writing, and printing copies of what I wrote. I know that I will soon forget details and I want to remember. I need to remember. I went through thousands of pictures and had some printed. I made a music playlist. I let myself feel every single emotion. Anger, sadness, pain, love, happiness, failure, gratitude, confusion, joy. I allowed it all to smother me.
On a few of those days I thought my heart might burst. I thought my eyes would forever be red and swollen. I thought maybe I might not ever recover and if I did, would it change me as a person?
I made it through the toughest part although what does it mean to recover? How does one completely recover from the pain of death? You don’t. But that’s okay. It will always be with you. Grieving definitely revealed to me my own mishandling of the past, so maybe it has grounded me. Perhaps I might be a better person.
I felt the real. It was both painful and cleansing. It was necessary and I am glad I allowed myself to feel it all. I still feel it now, but the dagger strikes my heart only periodically.
There is no shame in feeling. There is no shame in grieving. Or, in tears. There is shame in not learning, growing, or forgiving.
Grief is the most unwanted part of life. Regardless, it is a part of life. We can fight it all we want but that only adds resentment and pain to our life. That’s why we need to make sure we make every minute on this earth count toward something good. It minimizes regret later.
Be grateful for every second of life. And let others know just how much they mean to you every chance you get. There is no shame in that either.
Live like there’s no tomorrow. ♥️
Photos: Charlie and Amber🎚;Taylor🎚 and Chelle🎚; Dad🎚and me in Italy