My Mom told me once that as I got older I would become more aware of death and its sting. She was right. As optimistic as I am (my sister-in-law says the Kimpsons are the most optimistic family she’s ever met), I mused to her that it seemed that too many were dying. Facing harsh reality never really becomes easier, but now that I have your attention, let me confess that this post wouldn’t dare to tell you how to grieve. It’s such a personal process. But I can share with you some of the things I’ve done that in retrospect worked rather well. I say retrospect because when you are in that dark place, your will to survive and your literal soul pull you through the muck, mud, and mire. It is only after you’ve emerged, battered, bruised, and dirty and when you stand on your feet and dust yourself off that you can look back and say, “I made it through.” But that’s just my take. And here’s what has worked for me:
I allow myself to grieve– constructively. One of my besties told me it was okay to own my emotions because they’re mine. My mom told me to cry, shout, and moan all I wanted, to wipe my tears, and then to step away ready to face another day. So while the doctor is quick to give you something to take the edge off, be determined to put that prescription aside and push through.
When my grief pulls me into a fetal position that paralyzes me, I time myself. Pretty soon, I’ve graduated from half a day in the bed to two hours to 30 minutes to 15 minutes.
I look in the mirror as I cry and face my grief.
I reach out to others and offer a helping hand.
I reach out to my family and true friends who understand me– who don’t hover– but whose prayers and presence remind me that I have support.
I save inspirational voicemails from friends and family and replay them when I need to hear an uplifting word.
I write about my experiences and my emotions.
And when I am ready, I share my story because I am not alone in my grief-stricken experiences.
After all, my testimony may make a difference for someone else.