No matter how long it’s been since someone passed away, we can still experience grief when we remember them.
I’ve talked about it before, but both of my grandpas passed away within about a year of each other a few years ago.
One of them passed away five years ago on February 2, and the other passed away four years ago on February 13. February is a hard month for me because it brings back a lot of memories, not all of which are positive. One of my grandpas had been in the hospital for a few months beforehand, but my other grandpa had a heart attack and it was totally unexpected.
Last year I was still having a really hard time dealing with my grief, so I went to counseling. I felt I should be more over my grief than I was, and then I realized I wasn’t really processing anything so I felt paralyzed by my grief.
I was just pushing my feelings down to ignore them, but that obviously didn’t work. I’ve found better ways to cope, but I still get really sad sometimes.
And that’s okay.
Even though I’m still sad that they won’t be physically at my wedding later this year, I would never trade anything for all of the wonderful memories I’ll always have with both of them. And I know they’ll both always be there in spirit.
Both of my grandpas were both big fans of Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard, so I think to think of them as all jamming out, laughing and getting in trouble together. They’re both a big reason why music has always been such an important part of my life, and I hope to pass that same love of music to my kids someday.
I don’t hide from my feelings anymore. I can’t. And I hope you don’t either, regardless of whether you’re experiencing grief, sadness, anger, etc. The more you hide your feelings, the more likely they’ll crop up later and potentially cause more problems for you.
Sometimes grief still creeps up and visits me, and again, that’s okay. I think I’ll always feel like this in some capacity, honestly. But now I’m better at noticing and acknowledging it rather than ignoring it or pushing it away. That ended up giving me so much grief to deal with than I needed, but I guess I’m stronger now because of it.
Grief can be very sad, but it can also be very good. It can help us remember the good times we had with someone before they passed away or remind us of how we’ve changed or grown.
Every person processes grief differently, and every situation is very different as well. I know my experience won’t be the same as everyone else’s. If you’re having trouble dealing with grief, please try talking to someone, whether it’s a friend or licensed professional.