Grief. I’ll always find myself attached to this word, but I’m not ashamed of it or hiding from it anymore.
At first I found myself feeling resistance to writing about grief again, but here I am. I know I’ve written a few posts about this, but that’s okay. I’m still processing my grief, so it makes sense to still write about it.
February is far from my favorite month of the year. Six years ago, one of my grandpas passed away, and five years ago, my other grandpa passed away.
Remembering that they’re gone always gives me a strange, funny feeling. I immediately feel sad and hear myself thinking, “Oh…yeah…that’s right…”
But then I think about how lucky I am to have known both of those strong, hardworking, incredible men. They were both just amazing people. They were my grandpas, so of course I idolized them, but I wasn’t the only one.
They were two of the best and nicest and funniest and warmhearted people I’ll probably ever know in my whole life. They both meant so much to me, and I can only hope that they knew that when they were still alive.
I’m so thankful to have had such strong male role models in my life that were always there and always a constant. I will be forever grateful for that and their impact on my life.
I hope I can impact someone’s life in the way they both did for me.
Grief pops up for me unexpectedly, but it happens often in February as the memories of hearing that they passed away come flooding in.
I will always remember where I was when I got the calls about each of them passing away. I will always hear my stepdad’s voice and the lump in his throat as he called to tell me that one of my grandpas passed away. I will always her my dad’s voice and the lump in his throat as well as he told me the same thing about his dad a year later.
I will never get those voices and conversations out of my head and the feelings I felt during those calls. They used to haunt me, but now I’m embracing them. I sit with the emotions I feel when thinking about those times instead of trying to shove everything down and pretend I’m fine.
Their deaths happened five and six years ago, but that doesn’t mean my grief has stopped. If anything, it’s continued to transform over the years.
Grief is most often associated with sadness, which isn’t surprising. I feel immense sadness very often since I lost both of them. But I think grief should also be associated with hope.
I know that they’re both in a better place now, probably even hanging out with each other sometimes. I feel hope because I know I’m not the only one who was positively impacted by their lives. Other people out there are probably still thinking the same things I am about the both of them.
Grief is a strange, funny thing. It can make people sad, angry, scared, hopeful, depressed, anxious and a myriad of other emotions. And all of them are valid and real.
They all also need to be expressed. If I’ve learned anything in this life about grief, it’s that we need to learn how to let it be expressed, even if just for a moment. I think we’re all so afraid of actually feeling all of our emotions because we think we’ll get stuck in them and not be able to bounce out.
I used to think that a lot, and I still worry about it sometimes, but it still hasn’t happened yet. I don’t think it ever will, but the worry hasn’t fully gone away yet.
So, here I sit with my grief and other emotions as they pop up. Instead of trying to stifle all of my tough emotions, I’m learning how to sit with them and observe them instead. Grief has been the hardest one to figure out, but I’m getting there.
If you’re grieving someone, don’t let someone else tell you how you have to grieve or how long is “acceptable” for you to do so. Only you know the answer to that.
No matter your relationship with a person who passed away, your grief is valid. Your feelings about grief are valid. You are valid.
Feel whatever feelings you need to without judging them or pushing them down, and see how that makes you feel.