|Courage is not having the strength to go on, It’s going on when you don’t have the strength. –Theodore Roosevelt|
Let’s be honest, grief is difficult. It is probably one of the hardest situations that I have been through in my life. It hurts, it is confusing, and some days I honestly wonder how I will get through the day. I often hear people refer to grief as a “bad” feeling and consider it a completely negative experience. Although there are days that I would still completely agree with this I have come to realize that grief is not all bad. As I have worked through the grief process and learned how to accept the emotions and cope with the feelings I have also been able to discover some very important lessons that I have learned on this journey. These lessons definitely did not come easy and I often did not realize what lesson I was learning at the time but as I traveled down the road of grief these lessons became easier to discover.
One of the most difficult lessons that I have learned is how to be accepting and patient. I had to learn to accept the thoughts and feelings that I was having even if I didn’t understand them. I had to learn to accept the good days as well as the bad ones and realize that it is ok to have both. I had to learn to be patient with myself while traveling down the journey of grief and remember that it is a difficult road to navigate. And I definitely had to work on accepting the fact that sometimes it is ok to break down, it is ok to need help, it is ok to feel lost; but it is also ok to have a good day, and to laugh, and that I don’t have to feel guilty for feeling happiness again.
I also learned so much about strength through my journey. People would say “You are such a strong person to get through this”. I would often get angry at this statement because I did not feel strong; I felt weak, I felt lost, I felt vulnerable and just wanted to shut down sometimes. But now I look at this experience much different. I realize that even on days that I felt I had no strength, I found a way to keep going. I found a way to push through and took each moment as it came. I learned that I do not always have to be the “strong” one and that my support system is there to hold me up when I cannot do it myself. I realize that I am stronger than I let myself believe just because somehow I found a way to go on through these days.
I also gained a very important lesson on gratitude through my grief. I learned to be grateful for my support system, for calm moments, for good days, for things that made me laugh, things that made me smile, and most of all grateful for the love and memories of my loved one. Take a moment today to reflect on your lessons and what you can learn from your grief.