You’re not in the wrong place. Yes, this is a blog about the joys in my life, but this particular post is about grief. Since grief is inevitable, I felt it was important to share this. Just being honest here…life isn’t 100% about joy, and that’s ok.

Things I’ve learned about grief:

  • No one can escape it. At some point, everyone will experience grief.
  • Grief is not only about death or illness.
  • Even 2 years after my mom’s stroke, I am still grieving. And that’s ok. Yes, she is still with us, but things are…different.
  • When you’re feeling grief, there is not a right or a wrong way to feel it, but you must allow yourself to feel it.
  • We shouldn’t learn how to get past grief, but instead we should learn how to integrate it into our everyday lives.
  • Society doesn’t know how to handle grief.
  • We often say the wrong thing to people who are grieving, even if our words are well-intentioned. I’ve done this, and I’m learning.
  • It’s ok, and it’s possible, to feel happiness and grief at the same time.
  • Grief doesn’t follow a linear set of stages or a particular plan.
  • We may try to keep our loved ones from experiencing pain and suffering, but it’s not possible to shield them from it, and we shouldn’t. Grief is a part of life and we should allow others to have their experience, no matter how much we wish we could take it away from them.
  • We are there for someone when a death or illness or traumatic event has occurred, but are we there for them months…years later when they are still learning to live with the pain?
  • You did not “need” for this painful experience to happen in order for you to grow.
  • Sometimes you don’t need to hear the clichés and “I’m sorry” comments. Sometimes you need to hear “this fucking sucks.”
  • While it is hard to bear witness to others in pain, we as a society should not rush the grieving of others just because we are more comfortable when people “are OK.”

And these quotes from Megan Devine’s book “It’s OK if you’re not OK” have really resonated with me:

  • “Grief is not a problem to be solved; it’s an experience to be carried.”
  • “Little by little, pain and love will find ways to coexist.”