I am a realist and a factual person. So, it has been hard for me to admit to myself that I have been running from my grief for years. It has been my coping mechanism, I guess. Plus, I am a mom and moms don’t have the time or energy to grieve, right? It has taken years for me to learn healthy ways to grieve… if there is such a thing.
The truth is, I have to “be strong” or I would fall apart. I have to stop the flood of tears or I would sit in a puddle all day, every day.
When the wave of grief hits me and a heart-wrenching sob tries to surface, I know I can’t give in to it because I am needed constantly by my children.
I can’t give myself 5 minutes to grieve alone because the truth is if I allowed myself to think about my mom or my son in any depth, the grief would be so overwhelming that I don’t think I could ever cry enough tears or feel enough hurt to overcome it.
So, I suck it back in and I forge ahead. I am a mom and my children need me.
But, that isn’t really healthy. And it’s all gonna come out in the end, probably in an ugly rush of snot and tears when I least expect it or want it to. So, what is a busy mom to do with her grief?
Healthy Ways To Grieve
- Talk about your loved one. I think I need to talk about my mom and son more often. I do talk about them both with my husband & children, but not enough to allow the memories & tears to flow. And, I think that it is healthy to cry while remembering.
- Share memories. I think spending time with my 5 sisters helps. We all grieve our mom and can remember her together without restraint if need be. Most of them are moms themselves and so they can minister to my grieving mama heart, too. Plus, just knowing grief as they do (from the loss of our mom), gives them an understanding of grief in general. So, that is when I can share memories, laugh, and cry. I wish we got together more than just a few times a year. Sigh.
Grieve With Others
- Be there for others when they are walking the grief journey. Offer them understanding and just be there for them in any way they need you… small or big ways, meek or bold ways, quiet or loud ways, visible or invisible ways. You will not be carrying the burden of grief for them because you can’t, but serving them will bless you. It will be painful for you as their grief will probably bring back the rawness of your own, but it is part of the healing process.
- I need to write about it more often. Whether in a personal journal or on my blog. It helps to get my grief out through the written word. Often, the spoken word fails me (can you say “major introvert”?), but I am comfortable writing. I have written about grief quite often in the past, but it has been awhile. (you can find all of my grief-related posts here)
Pray & Praise
- Spend time reading the Bible.
- Read a devotional full of encouragement.
- Sing hymns.
- Pray and believe that even when I do not have the words to express myself, that the spirit will intercede for me.
I believe in embracing the life we have been given by counting our blessings, seeking joy, and finding strength in Jesus. However, tears, fears, sorrow, and grief are part of real life and they do need to be given proper margin in our life.
There are no “right ways” to grieve, but I do believe there are healthy ways to grieve. The ways I’ve outlined above are just the ones that make sense to ME, but I know that all of us are different and you may grieve differently. And, that’s okay. What matters most is that we do actually grieve in the first place. Sadly, grief is a lifetime event… it never ends, but neither does God’s grace, mercy, and peace. How thankful I am for that!