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  • Writer's pictureerinwalter

Grief happens in aisle 3...

This hurts so much more than you ever thought.


This statement is something I heard over and over again. It's not what I saw in the movies. Your grief can be absolutely unbearable at times and other times you can get through those 2 hours and you did not even think about them.


For example; you finally got yourself to the local grocery, it took you over 30 minutes to psych yourself up to put your emotions in check and grab the coffee from aisle 3.

You enter the store, grab the few items from your list and only need one more thing before heading to the check out aisle. Almost done...


Then...BAM, Joan sees you and comes full tilt with "How are you doing? Did you get my card and How are the kids doing with this horrible news?" You feel under attack and just want to be invisible.


Internally you have throat punched Joan several times and left the grocery cart in the aisle but externally you smile, nod and do your best not to show tears or any distress in the moment.


Why the hell did Joan open her mouth or why did I go to the grocery store THAT afternoon?


Here's the thing...please know that people are trying their best until they open their mouths. Seriously I could write a book on what people have said to me in aisle 3 about the deaths in my own life or what I have heard in counselling sessions or in grief group.

Mind blowing, insensitive statements that can never be taken back.


Grief lasts as long as love lasts. Moving on is not a thing or getting over it.


Grief shifts and changes with time, hard work and life experiences. There will be times in the beginning that you are on the floor barely being able to breathe and yet years later you can still pick up your phone to text them.

The grief later on is softer but still there. It never fully "goes away."

Society has expectations to how we grieve a certain way. The way I process the death of my father may look different then the way you walk with your grief of your father.


How you navigate these difficult rough waters is totally up to you. You can remember your dear person in special ways. It may not at all be the way your sister remembers them.

And that is OKAY!

Everyone has various needs and wants in their grief. We also have to remember that the relationship we had with them is different than what our sibling, spouse, friend or cousin had with them and they are processing their loss.


Grief is unique to each one of us. It doesn't just happen on their birthday or anniversary, grief comes in the car ride to a family gathering, memories can happen in the barn or buying their favourite food at the local restaurant.


Be kind to yourself. Grief is a tapestry of emotions and moments.


Life continues and the memories can start to fade however that doesn't mean you are on thinking of them or that they are forgotten, it simply means the grief has shifted and changed.


The pain you are experiencing is real. Grief has several layers of self discovery. Leaning into those tender emotions is raw and real. Reach out to those who hold genuinely hold space with you and it is not about them and their experiences.

Sitting in the pit of grief is not for the faint of heart but knowing someone can listen to your heart is essential. and To be heard.


As messy as it this is right now, grief is not emergency or hit the panic button situation.

Grief is part of life and yet society wants to pathologize grief...it's NOT a disease. Sometimes we just need to be seen and heard.

In saying that, it can be tough to talk with friends or family when they are experiencing their own pain as well.


Everyone deserves to have a voice and be heard without judgement. There will be times you want to talk about your family and not have to censor your thoughts or how you felt in that moment.

Seeking a counsellor may be a way to unpack all these emotions without having anyone personally affected by your debriefing.

Look for counsellors specializing in grief. It's a speciality. Ask about their qualifications.

You do not need to be handed a bunch of pamphlets and positive affirmations to"get over your grief."


THAT IS NOT HELPFUL.


Whatever you are experiencing it is real and having the right counsellor to work with you is another tool in your toolbox. It's truly a gift to yourself so that you can begin to heal on your own terms.

As I conclude this blog, please take a deep breath. You are not alone and it's okay not to feel okay today.



Continue to breathe

Erin


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