October 14, 2021

a grieving heart

It has been important to me to stay present these last few weeks. Life’s challenges demand it sometimes. But today my grief is heavy and I need to write just for a few minutes. Though Mary Oliver wrote it best:

To live in this world

you must be able

to do three things:

to love what is mortal;

to hold it

against your bones knowing

your own life depends on it;

and, when the time comes to let it go,

to let it go.

Letting go is hard. The pain of heartbreak and mourning is intense. It does not make a difference that I knew this could happen at some point. I chose to love her with all my heart for as long as I could. That’s what I did. I’m so glad of that. But that doesn’t take away this grief.

How do I mend my grieving heart?

I don’t have all the answers to that. 

But I am trying a few things.

1. Let myself be sad. Be ok with however I am feeling and for however long it takes. It the past I have tried to resist my pain, hurt, and grief. This time I am letting myself feel it without shame or guilt or worry that it will last forever. I’m trying to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.

2. Share my grief. We need each other. I feel lighter as others have reached out and mourned with me. It is humbling and strengthening. Pain is more bearable when someone is there to carry it with you. I’m not embarrassed of my sadness or trying to pretend I’m ok when I’m not. Talking about it in a safe place is a relief. 

3. Be kind to myself and give myself space to grieve. I recognize that it is a lot that I have gone through. And instead of pushing through and continuing to do all the things, I am slowing down and giving myself time to relax into this. Like watching a show cuddled up in my bed, giving myself time to read a book, and we even canceled our big Grand Canyon hike we have been planning all year mostly because we just don’t feel emotionally ready with everything going on this week. I need time to heal and grieve. Instead we shifted our plans to something else and that feels so right and healing.

4. Remember my purpose and look forward with hope. When I look at the bigger picture and keep an eternal perspective on things, I understand my role and why I chose this. That gives me comfort and strength to know that I am fulfilling my mission and purpose in life. I’m proud of that. There is also other things that I can go and do in life. Heavenly Father needs me. 

5. Look for the good. I’m trying to notice my thoughts and remind myself of some of the good that comes from this—like what I have learned and what I have to look forward to. Some of the “good” is mixed with sadness because I’d much rather have her here with us, but I can deliberately find some positives.

6. Trust Heavenly Father. I have to put it all in His hands and trust Him. I have to trust Him to carry me through my grief. I have to trust that He will watch over her. I believe we are all God’s children so of course he wants this for everyone’s sake. I have to trust that I will be ok, that she will to, that God is helping everyone, and that He is in the details of our lives and also the big picture. 

I feel more in control and I feel like I know what to do with this heartbreak better than I ever have in the past. I am confident that I can grieve, I should grieve, that I know how to grieve, and that I will learn and heal through the process.