Grief and sadness can catch you off guard when you least expect it. It’s been four years since my most enthusiastic cheerleaders have been gone. Between my grief and depression, there was a time that I didn’t think I would make it. The worst of it was when the brakes on my car failed, and I was left careening down a hill – my thoughts frantic between “where can I turn so I don’t hit anyone?” and “thank God my dogs aren’t in the car.”
It wasn’t until I landed on, “Good thing it’s only me. No one will miss me” that I realized I was still in it – the depression.
It was also just about then that the hill-hold kicked in on the car and I was able to steer to the shoulder and catch my breath.
Grief and sadness caught me off guard
But, wow… that stray thought really made me wonder. How could I think that? I have wonderful friends, a loving partner, my colleagues are positive, uplifting people, I love my job and am squarely in my purpose… but still that nagging dispiritedness. It caught me off guard.
I felt alone in my grief
There was no magic bullet that could dispel my longing for my parents; their belongings that I thought would bring comfort, no longer held that same power. I felt really alone in my grief. I felt as if I lost my whole family – my history – when they died, but I didn’t share how it was for me. ‘Brave’, ‘strong’ and ‘resilient’ were words people used to describe me. But, on the inside, I felt none of those things. I was unsure of myself, desperate to belong and downhearted. It showed up as insecurity; and I found myself either demanding of people’s time or not wanting to be around anyone.
Time is a great healer, but not on its own. Time advances because that’s what it does. Healing, however, requires self-care and self-awareness; otherwise time passes without reflection and a negative thought can infiltrate a beautiful life. Don’t let it. Reach out and share your truth with someone – start the conversation! Please know that you are not alone in this.