There are a lot of reasons you may be grieving. Everyone grieves differently and at their own pace.

My mom passed away on September 4, 2021, and I have wrestled with the grieving process. I sincerely hope to share my perspective here to create a spark of hope and acceptance for you.

It is a long, and perhaps never-ending, journey through the 5 stages of grief.

5 Stages of Grief

Hopefully, this advice can help you and your loved ones navigate the grieving process.

Be kind to yourself, and your emotional waves. Give yourself grace and compassion. Give love, grace, and space to your loved ones who are also processing this loss in their own way. There is no right or wrong way to grieve.

As we juggle all the balls in life, work is the ball that is rubber and will bounce back up when you are ready for it. For now, focus on your own mourning and grief and comforting other loved ones

The best analogy I heard was that it's like a pebble in your shoe. Sometimes you don't feel it at all, but sometimes it's the only fucking thing you feel and it hurts so much. Keep going. One foot in front of the other. One minute/hour/day at a time.

It comes in waves. Now and for quite a while, the waves are going to knock you down. Keep a few boxes of tissues throughout the house and get some small travel packs of tissues. When a wave hits, ride it out with tears/anger/frustration/etc, and let the emotions out. It's harder to hold them inside of you.

Be prepared that anything can trigger a memory of your loved one (an article of clothing, a song, a game, a location, a website, a social media post, a holiday, etc.), and there will be a wave that comes with it

Foreshadowing – over time the waves continue to come, but your balance/equanimity gets stronger and they don't all knock you down. This may take weeks/months. There's no right/wrong time frame. Give yourself grace and know that time does help.

After each good crying session, which happened approximately every 20 minutes the first few weeks after losing my mom, the most important thing you need to do is wash your face!

Seriously, get up and go to the sink and wash the tears off your cheeks. The feeling of dried tears on your face creates lingering sadness, and a fresh face wash helps to refresh your body and spirit. You might cry again in a few minutes, and that's okay. It's so important to reset and wash your face to try and move forward.

I'm here if you ever want to talk. Sincerely, you can call me any time because I know how hard it is, and I know how valuable it is to have a wide range of people to share what you are going through.

Familiarize yourself with the graphic about the 5 stages of grief. It's helpful to understand that all 5 stages of grief are normal parts of your life and your loved ones. They don't happen for a set period of time, and they don't always come in order. Learn to recognize which stage you, and your loved ones are in and find a way out of stages 1-4 to get to hope and acceptance. You and your loved ones will oscillate between the 5 stages all the time. The way out is always through hope and acceptance, no matter how hard it is to get there.

One of the best ways to get to acceptance is through practicing gratitude for the time you did have together and feel God's love and grace as He welcomes your loved one into heaven to watch over you.

Reading can help you work through your emotions. My dear friend, John Cannon, sent me a copy of A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis, and I strongly recommend you read it. In it, the author shares his pain and struggle in dealing with the death of his wife. It helped me to know I wasn't alone in all the anger and depression.

There is a helpful website called Empathy that provides additional resources for the hardest tasks, such as funeral planning, dealing with benefits/probate/property/debts, and processing grief.

I also found peace, and a good cry, while listening to this podcast on The Long Goodbye: Living With Grief.

Here is an excerpt from Brene Brown's book Atlas of the Heart about grief..

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