If you’re reading this, chances are you might have read the first part of my grief series. If not, click here to read that first, and then pretty please come back to read this final blog.
Now that I’ve shared about the deaths that have impacted my life the most, I wanted to share the things that help me cope with my grief. I want to make sure that it is very clear that everyone’s grief journey is completely different. Grief is not linear, what has helped me may not help you or vice versa. I just hope in sharing my coping mechanisms can encourage you to know that your feelings are valid and you deserve to be okay and grieve in any way you need to. With that being said, here are some of the things that have gotten me through my biggest losses.
When I tell you that therapy has saved and changed my life in more ways than one, I am not exaggerating. The day my grandmother died, I coincidentally had a therapy appointment scheduled. I sat in my car in shock before heading into my appointment. For the first 15 minutes, I just sat there and cried in my therapist’s presence on her comfy couch (cliche I know). She just sat with me and didn’t push me to open up. Sometimes just being in another human being’s presence that just gets you, is all you need. She helped me understand where my mind was and to help validate my feelings and thought process during this time. Being able to completely just feel my emotions that day truly has let me be at peace with her sudden death. Yes, I still miss my grandmother dearly and I still cry over her death, but now my therapist has given me healthy outlets to deal with those feelings. I love listening to her old voicemails she left me, she always left me minute-long ones and I am so grateful for that. Another thing that helps is writing to her. My grandmother was cremated and I do not have any of her remains, but I do have her photo up on our memorial shelf as I like to call it. Whenever I am missing her or want to talk to her, I write her little notes and put them by her picture. This may seem weird to some, but this has really helped me feel close to her.
Now I totally understand that I am fortunate enough and privileged to be able to go to therapy, and a lot of people do not have the means to do so. This is one of the biggest reasons I advocate for mental health resources for every being. If your insurance does not cover therapy, here are some online resources that can help courtesy of verywellmind.com:
Best Overall - TalkSpace
Best Live Chat - BetterHelp
Best for Teens - Teen Counseling
Best for LGBTQ - Pride Counseling
Best for Peer Support - 7 Cups of Tea
Best Free Assessment - Doctor on Demand
Best for Access to a Psychiatrist - MDLive
I am not affiliated with any of the above resources nor are they affiliate links. I do not gain or receive anything if you click the above links.
My Support System
My support system consists of my family, my fiance, and my two best friends (and yes they are both pretty), and my social media friends. That was a TikTok reference, I know I’m so old. Anyway, my support system has completely changed the way I have dealt with my grief. After many intense therapy sessions, my therapist helped me understand how to confide in people and who is safe to confide in. I am so thankful for my best friends that take the time to understand what I’m trying to say and just to listen. Sometimes listening is all you need someone to do to feel better, not the "I'm so sorry, I understand, I feel so bad" type shit. Yes, that is comforting but doesn't necessarily make me feel better. Of course, my fiance Nolan is one of the most important people in my life. He is always there for me and thoroughly tries to understand how I am feeling and what I need. Our relationship has its ups and downs trust me because any relationship isn’t perfect, but I am so grateful that he is by my side to navigate this crazy world. Finally, I am so thankful for you guys. The ones who read my blog, my long-ass posts on Instagram, and the ones that reach out to see how I’m doing. You guys mean the world to me and I value our interaction so much.
Lots and lots of crying
Yes, you read that right. I was never one to cry when I was a child, I was always told to “stop feeling sorry for myself”. So one thing that I learned through therapy was that it is okay to cry. It’s okay to happy cry, sad cry, angry cry, cry for no reason, and of course, nothing is wrong with a good ugly cry. There have been scientific studies done and 50% of people feel better after crying as well as reducing the feeling of stress. If you take anything from this blog, I want you to know this.....
Crying does not make you weak. Crying makes you human.
Thank you guys for your constant support and for taking the time to read my sometimes (rambling and random) thoughts. I love being open and real with you guys in hopes you realize you are not alone.