Grief is an ongoing process, it doesn’t just end after a certain point. This process can be extremely difficult, draining, and defeating, which is why we want to bring light to our story in hopes that it can promote coping and healing for others.
After our son passed away in 2018, we knew we were in for some bumpy years to follow. It felt like reminders of him were plastered around us in every direction we looked. We soon realized that to continue down the path of emotional healing, we had to embrace and celebrate those little reminders. We stopped looking at them as something that should be pushed away, but rather something that should be cherished.
Reminders can be very powerful, and sometimes, they can hit you without a warning. There are many types of reminders that can cause this reaction, for example, an anniversary date, a location, an item, or even a smell can cause a flood of memories to emerge. This process might be extremely emotional, and sometimes it wont make sense to others, but that doesn’t mean it is any less real.
Reminisce about the positives, don’t focus on the loss. That is much easier said than done, we understand, but the importance of this step can make a big difference in the outlook of the situation.
Connect with others experiencing these same feelings. It is so important to realize that you are not alone in this journey of coping with a loss. Find comfort in family, friends, or anyone going through the same struggles.
Allow yourself to feel all of the natural emotions associated with these memories. It is definitely okay to be sad, but don’t forget to allow yourself to feel happiness and joy, too! As you reminisce on good memories and begin this journey of life after loss, it is so critical that any and all emotions are able to surface. Don’t feel weird if you find yourself crying and laughing, that is normal!
This process is anything but easy and takes time and patience to begin to see less intense impacts of grief. If you feel that your grief gets worse as time goes on, consider talking to a professional. If this grief is left unresolved, it could lead to depression or other serious mental health problems. The path to healing is not always clear and smooth, so don’t be afraid to reachout to help if you need it.