I wrote about grieving losses for a friend’s blog recently, For the Love of Dixie. She has an entire series going from different writers with different perspectives from different stories, all of which give us Permission to Grieve. So often we don’t know what grief should look like much less feel like we have the permission to work it out. If we love, we will grieve. Simple as that. It’s a process, for sure, but one that is not without hope.
We all have losses that we need to grieve. We all grieve differently and we all long for hope and grace as we navigate these unchartered waters. There really is no rulebook that gives us hard fast steps on how to grieve our losses. Some tips and pointers, yes, and our counselors can guide us through, but for the most part, we muddle through and do our next best thing.
In my 27-year-old marriage, through years of poor communication skills, some selfishness and some ignorance, there have been some losses. Some were minor losses and some rather monumental. I have spent most of my married years passing by many of the losses as mere annoyances. That was easy enough to do because for the better part of our marriage the good outweighed the bad. Losses don’t simply go away, though. Even the little ones. You can’t brush them under the rug. Someday, that rug gets moved and guess what? It’s all there waiting for you.
We all know that grief is a part of life but for me, the revelation in making any sort of sense of it came in naming my losses. From grieving death of loved ones to the death of dreams, it is not a fun process. Acknowledging the losses, seeing them, naming them and grieving them. One of the most helpful exercises for me was to make an actual list of my losses. I found there were more than I realized. It was painfully life-giving. It was also helped me realize that my “crazy” was justified. Physically writing out my losses helped me organize them. When they were just stuck in my head they rolled all over in there and added to the chaos.