The secret to getting unstuck in grief

Nobody’s wants to feel the pain of grief. Nobody wants to feel pain, period.

The things that get us stuck are refusing to talk about it, feeling guilty for crying, not finding or accepting support.

‘Feeling it’ serves a purpose. As much as it sucks, that purpose is emotional healing. If ...  read more

Start by believing you will survive it

In the first few days and weeks following any tragedy, you are in shock. Grief covers you like a lead blanket and you can’t see how you will ever be able to function again.

Your first step? Believe you will survive this. Keep telling yourself you will.

The way I got through each day at first was to tell myself that as bad as it was, it could never be as bad as getting the news my son killed himself. I’ve already gotten that call. The best thing people could do for me is to be there and ask, “How are you today?” And when no one asked, I asked myself. When I would get angry that the world kept spinning while my world had fallen apart, I reminded myself that others were holding it up because I could not.

When I blamed myself, I remembered I couldn’t control another human being. Even one I created. We blame ourselves at first but most of us learn we have to forgive ourselves to be able to live. I had to realize that my child didn’t take his life because I didn’t love him enough. And losing myself in coulda, woulda, shouldas was not going to bring him back or make my life easier.

The feelings you have immediately following any tragedy are not permanent. You adapt because human beings are amazingly resilient. There are many of us out here who have survived tragedy.

We are living proof that ordinary human beings can do this. And we are here to support you because we’ve been there. Use us.


5 things to help you find hope after tragedy

Grief: 5 things that helped me turn a corner

Charles died 8 months and 3 days ago from the above dateand these are the things that helped me find some peace.

#1 – Joined a support group*

support groupWhile in group, there were times I felt like I was pouring alcohol in a wound when hearing everyone’s stories. I broke down with each one. However, exposing yourself to others in this way releases so much of your own pain. You bond with others in the same situation. Allowing the hurt leads to healing. It’s truly a relief and it allows you to let go.

#2- Understanding that I’m not always the captain of this journey

That means giving up control sometimes and letting grief happen. Recognizing when I am no longer grieving but wallowing and then redirecting myself. Making plans on days I know might be hard such as holidays and allowing my friends to do things for me. None of this is easy but once you understand the rhythm of your journey, you figure out how to guide it even if you can’t control it.

#3- Adjusting my attitude. My son would want me to be happy

I only have one life and I need to learn to enjoy it again, honor his memory and appreciate the time we did have and all the lives he touched in his short life span. While I have bad days, for the first time since June 5, 2015, I strung together 5 good days in a row. By good days, I mean days where my limbs didn’t feel heavy and I wasn’t feeling lethargic and unmotivated all day. Or when I thought of him, it didn’t take me to my knees. If I can string 5 good days together once, I can do it again.

#4- I write. And write. And write

It started with public posts on Facebook. Then I started my own blog (this one).

Then I submitted an article to the newspaper about suicide. It took 5 months to write but once I pushed through it and wrote it, I felt relief and found peace. It hurts like the devil reliving the moment and being emotionally naked in public. But for some reason, I see it differently once I write it and I feel peace. Just like Charles did when he wrote. Journal, poetry, music–writing is therapy.


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