God, Is This Really Happening?
Full transparency, this blog is totally NOT the one I had in mind for today.
I’ve spent the week trying to be more consistent with posting, drafting on themes and ideas for each day of the week, in order to help establish a more intentional posting routine for myself and those who follow my brand.
With that, today’s blog was supposed to provide tips and tricks to prepare for the week.
BUT God had other plans.
I struggled with whether or not to push forth and go with the original blog I wanted to write today OR to really write what was on my heart.
I chose to follow my heart.
I knew that I could not continue to carry on with life as usual with my heart being broken.
I’ve spent the last few days trying to process the unexpected loss of a close friend. I couldn’t and still can’t seem to fully wrap my mind around WHAT it is I’m feeling.
However, I KNOW that I am not okay. I KNOW that my heart hurts. I KNOW that I can no longer text or call my friend randomly or intentionally to check on her or her daughter.
I KNOW that I will no longer receive any random videos admiring and appreciating the talent of her baby girl.
But yet, I still can’t fully process the thought and reality of her no longer being here, physically.
My heart is racing as I type.
It’s like writing out the reality of this really makes it real.
It brings forth the question and the title of this post, “God, is this REALLY happening?”
Like, I know we are told to trust you, your will, your way, BUT did you REALLY mean for this to happen?
Make no mistake, I trust God. I trust His timing.
BUT the reality is, sometimes we, as human beings, have questions. I AM THAT person today.
I’ll probably be that person until I can fully process her passing but March is going to be a month of heavy hitting.
It was in March I experienced the first death of a close friend 16 years ago.
The first death I experienced that I could fully remember AND understand, and I’ll NEVER forget that day.
It was through her passing I learned of my ability to write and to cope and to process. I probably wrote 4-5 poems in a 24-hour timeframe, if that.
March is also the birth month of my father and my late grandmother. It’s my mother’s anniversary month.
But now, here I am again, with the loss of a great friend. I look back at our pictures and I just can’t fathom this.
Such a beautiful, genuine, and extremely kind soul. Although gone much too soon, her kind spirit surely left a mark.
For that, I am FOREVER grateful to have been able to call her a friend.
Although this was not the post I had in mind to share, I wanted to leave you with a few tips to help yourself in times of grief.
The tips below are NOT a one size fit all, so please do and implement what works best for you:
Seek and Accept Support: Allow the people who love you to be there for you when they offer. Although you may want to isolate yourself, and that’s completely understandable and honestly normal, lean on those who genuinely care about you.
Journal: Journaling is my magic annotate to many life changes. It’s a free-flowing outlet that just allows you to be and say whatever you want. In journaling, there’s no judgement, no image, no perfectionism, just your pages and you.
Be Honest with Yourself: Being honest with yourself is just a matter of acknowledging your feelings. If you’re not okay, be that! Allow yourself to grieve and to feel whatever it is your feeling. We often lie when asked how we’re doing, DON’T DO THAT, express your feelings, always.
Be Gentle with Yourself: Grief is an ever changing and evolving process. Accept that some days will be easier than others, don’t get frustrated with yourself and don’t allow anyone to dictate what your grieving process should look like in the form of time. Everyone processes loss at various paces.
Take Care of Yourself: Take care of your inner needs. Get out of bed, shower, get dressed, eat, sleep, open the blinds, exercise, expose yourself to sunlight, and as oddly as it may sound, find something that will make you laugh and lighten your spirits. Laughter is good for the soul.
Talk to a Therapist or Grief Counselor: If the grief you’re experiencing seems too unbearable on your own, seek the help of a mental health professional. With their assistance, you will receive steps to help you work through the intense emotions and obstacles you can face when grieving.
Join a Support Group: There’s something magical about being in the presence of likeminded people who are able to help you through your process of grieving and healing. The support of family and friends is great, but sometimes, you may need the added support of someone who has been in your shoes.
Grief can be one hell of a journey, but always remember to be PATIENT with yourself, your pace is your pace.
No matter how long it’s been since you’ve experienced the loss of a loved one, remember this quote I snagged from the latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy, “We OWE it to the people we lost to live the lives they can’t.”
This blog is written in Memory of Faren M. Douglas (April 15, 1987 – March 19, 2021)