Hey Sis!! It has been a minute since we have chatted. After the loss of my grandfather it has been very hard for me to find my mojo. It was almost like the impact of the grief would not allow me to find the words to write a blog post. Although, Khristian and I have had our traditional Sundae Sunday dates, I just could not find the strength to write. It has been exactly a month and 9 days since the passing of my grandfather and I feel that I am ready and in a place to write again.
Sometimes I believe as black women we are not kind to ourselves enough to realize it is okay to rest. It is okay to “chill out” from being everything to everybody. We often pretend or put on a facade that we are okay with the cape on our backs yet we are literally caving on the inside. I have made it up in my mind that I will not allow myself to be that woman. Unfortunately, it took the passing of my grandfather to realize that I can not be everything to everybody. I can only do what I can for myself. For a couple of weeks I felt guilty for not blogging. I felt like I was letting myself down because it was something that I looked forward to doing. Blogging is therapeutic for me and yet I didn’t even feel like opening my laptop. I guess what I am trying to say is that as women, particularly black women, we are allowed to give ourselves a pass on the things that matters most to us. Definitely if it means giving up some things to allow us the space to heal.
Grief is something that will paralyze you if you allow it to. It can almost make you feel like that at any time you have been hit by a ginormous wave out of nowhere. Seriously, one minute you feel like you got the hang of it and the next minute you feel debilitated. For the last 6 weeks that is how I have felt. One minute I am smiling and the next I am overrun with sorrow or one minute I am laughing and the next minute I am angry at EVERYBODY. If you have experienced grief on any level, you know exactly what I am talking about. As painful as it has been I have allowed myself to feel each and every emotion that comes with the grief. I have embraced every stage of it that I have found myself in. It is my belief that it is important to embrace grief because it is necessary for your healing to do so.
In the African American community we do not talk much about grief or anything regarding feelings and emotions for that matter. Grief and how we handle it is just not something we discuss in our community. Grief mirrors the stigma that we often associate with mental health. Well let me tell you sis, FREE YOURSELF from the stigma of grief and mental illness. Losing a love one is never easy and you should feel safe enough and okay to mourn them in your own way. I am not in a position to share with you that after a certain time you should be done with grieving. That is just not fair for me to tell you that. However, I will say that after a certain period of grieving and not finding some normalcy back in your routine you may want to seek out a professional. As I mentioned, those emotions will hit you like a wave out of nowhere and a professional can help you to “ride” those waves a bit easier.
At the age of 36 I have lost 3 of my grandparents and each time the last one hurts just as much as the previous one. Neither loss outweighs the other; however, this last one felt slightly different. I had to really be intentional with not allowing my grief to consume me. It was almost like I had to stay in front of it. I am sure you are asking yourself, what is she talking about?!? What I mean is that I had to be intentional with spending time with those that I love and care about the most and also being intentional with my self care. I have dedicated myself to running 3-4 times per week with a running group and as a matter of fact this weekend I am hosting a “Friendsgiving” with 3 of my closest friends. Doing those things are therapeutic for me and has allowed me not to isolate myself alone in my grief.
Now sis, one thing I can promise and assure you of is that the sting of death will surely come knocking on each one of our doors. The grief that comes along with it will almost feel unbearable; yet one thing I know for sure is that you will survive it. You will live through it, you will grow through it, and you will come out stronger on the other side. Be well and be free.