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  • Writer's picture Gabrielle Elise Jimenez

Grief is so random

Because of the losses I have experienced personally over the years I am acutely aware of how long grief lasts, and that it actually never ends. I have learned that it can become more painful over time. I have learned that you carry this with you everywhere you go and while it does stay quiet in hibernation a little longer as time goes on, it will randomly pop up without any warning.

My new and recent grief is teaching me so many things. I am trying to navigate it with some semblance of grace, but it is constantly throwing me for a loop, and catches me off guard.

I was driving to see a patient the other day when out of nowhere a song came on, one I have heard many times before, so I knew all the words, but for some reason, I heard them differently this time, and I started to cry. I think the words that got me most, went something like, "we will never have another anything again," or at least that is how I heard them. I had to pull the car over and just go with it, and I cried.

I often remind people to feel all the feels, and not hold them in. It is much easier said than done. At that particular moment, I had somewhere I needed to be, someone needed me, someone was having a tough time and I needed to be there. But I also knew that I need to take care of me, so I honored the tears that wanted to fall and and I felt the feels that were asking for some attention. There was a moment a few days ago when this happened as well, and I stuffed it down and ignored it, that backfired on me. Putting off reacting to your feelings only makes them worse. It hurts, that goes without saying, but it worsens when you don't stop for a moment and be present with whatever you are feeling.

What I am learning is that grief is random, and the myriad of ways it reminds you it hasn't gone anywhere, has to be addressed. I think it's okay to acknowledge it and let it know you will be with it shortly, if you are somewhere you cannot break down and cry... but don't take too long. And reach out to someone, if you can, that knows what you are going through and would want to be there for you. And if you do not feel like you have someone, please search online for a grief hotline, or you can even call your local hospice and ask to speak to a bereavement counselor, they usually provide support to community members. But do not go through it alone... it is hard work to grieve, it weighs a lot and usually needs at least two people to carry it.

I have never been good at asking for help, it is something I am working on. I am learning that the weight of grief is a lot lighter when someone else helps to carry it with you. Some days you might not even think about it, and that's okay, but always be on the lookout for it to randomly show up.

Be kind and gentle with yourself. Imagine you are a cherry blossom, assuming you are safely secured to a branch on the tree... but the wind blows, it blows really really hard and you are knocked out of place, so you fall to the ground. That is grief. And someone sees your beautiful blossom on the ground, wanting to protect it, so they pick you up, and place you in a small glass bowl where you feel safe and secure. That is someone being there for you when you reached out for help. You are not alone.

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