I can’t believe it’s the beginning of October! Where has the time gone? It’s been the longest, shortest year of my life. The year started off with such hope, then within a matter of a few weeks my life took a turn I didn’t see coming and changed the course of it forever. I didn’t know it then but deep inside lurked what I refer to as “The Savage Beast: Grief.”
This morning was not much different from most. As I opened my eyes my girl was the first thing I thought of. I think somewhere in the recesses of my mind I don’t believe she is really gone. Her pictures are everywhere, and we speak of her throughout each day. We share memories. Funny ones. Sweet ones. Sad ones.
Last week I had a chance to catch up on the phone with a longtime friend. Interestingly, when the topic turned to Melanie and my sadness over her loss she said, “Really? You’re still feeling this way?” Wow! It was the first time anyone had spoken those words out loud to me. Let me say that it was not said nor meant in a negative way. She was being sincere in asking. It gave me the opportunity to share that there will be no amount of time that will ever go by where I will not grieve my child. She is a part of me. Flesh of my flesh. I will forever miss her and grieve the fact that she is not here to share our lives together. I was also able to share that thankfully, I now have sad moments in a day, instead of full days or weeks. Yes, the savage beast still rears its ugly head and hits me out of nowhere, but I continue to walk through it, hand in hand with God leading the way. It’s my faith that sustains me every single day.
When you suffer a loss, of any kind, I think it’s important that you allow yourself to feel it. Experience it. Equally as important you should find those things which help lift you up. What gives your heart, mind and body peace and relief? Here are a few things I’ve been doing to help walk through this grief journey:
Grief counseling – I didn’t do this right away. I’ve never been one that is fond of counseling or therapy, but in this instance, I have found it to be quite helpful. I encourage you to find someone you can speak with on a regular basis.
Music – I’m sure you’ve heard that old saying “music soothes the savage beast?” Well, it really does! Grief is a beast like no other! I listen to music that uplifts me, which is also why I post songs so frequently. Oftentimes the Lord will give me songs in the night (Job 35:10). With each song the words are full of hope and encouragement. Where you may feel heaviness, music and the words within make your heart feel lighter. Give it a try.
Me-Time – Now this can mean different things to different people, but when I’m overwhelmed or feeling stressed, I need a little “me-time.” I may just need to go for a short walk by myself. Other times, I go to another part of the house and read quietly for a while. Now that more stores have opened up since Covid began I went for a massage. Best thing ever! Each time I go I wonder why I don’t schedule these on a regular basis!? Once a month would be perfect! Some people like to go shopping. Hey, a little retail therapy never hurt anyone! One of my favorite things I began doing was going to my local Yankee Candle Shop. When Melanie passed away my dear friend, Lisa, bought me two beautiful candles with Melanie’s picture on it. These personalized candles were so very special! Each day when I get up in the early morning hours to spend my quiet time with the Lord, I light them. The ones my friend bought me have long since burned out, but as soon as the stores opened up, I found myself there getting another candle with my girl’s picture on it! My favorite scent is Autumn Leaves and I select different pictures of Melanie to put on each candle. Whatever brings you a little peace, calm or happiness is what you should do.
I’d love to hear what you’re doing for yourself as you walk this grief journey. What music lifts you? What do you do to bring calm and peace to your soul? We are all in this together and I’d love to hear from you. Wishing you all a peace-filled day!