Dealing with Grief

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Me with Jilly dog–R.I.P.

I don’t know that I’ve ever experienced this much writer’s block, at least for a blog post. You’d think it’d be pretty simple when you can write whatever you want. But my family has is going through a rough time, which just became rougher in the past few days, and I am so overwhelmed with thoughts and emotions that I have no idea which I should and shouldn’t write about, or if I should write about something else entirely.

I won’t get too much into the issues my family is experiencing in order to protect their privacy and not bum anyone out too much, but I will say they’re health-related. And our nonhuman member of the family, Jill, passed away yesterday. She was a golden lab with boundless energy, and she made all of us laugh and feel loved throughout her long life. She was also the best hiking buddy, and I treasure the memories we made together on my favorite trail in Reno. I am grateful that I got to see her over my winter break, and she will stay in my heart forever.

I think I’ll try a gentle at-home yoga session tonight–slow and meditative. Not my usual thing (normally I’m drawn to faster-paced vinyasa), but I’m hoping it’ll help me work through some of these emotions. The most challenging thing for me has just been to face them instead of trying to numb myself out and not think about anything that has gone wrong within these last few months–my family’s diagnoses, our dog passing, my deep depression last semester, a tough breakup. The expectation for people to suck it up and move on is pretty commonplace in our culture, but the problem is that those emotions don’t go away, they just become repressed. We end up expressing them in an unhealthy way (we become depressed, we drink, we blame other people, we freak the f*** out, we make toxic attachments, etc) because we are so afraid and reluctant and ashamed to let ourselves just feel.

It’s by no means easy for any of us to try to let ourselves be vulnerable. In fact, it’s terrifying. It’s hard to blame anyone who says no when asked, “Hey, could you go stand on that cliff over there and look off the edge?” But, as I’ve recently learned, we can’t climb back down until we’ve been on that cliff and seen the world from its ledge.

So I’m going to try to get there.

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We can only hope the view looks like this every time

 

Peace, love, namaste. 

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