Hi Guys! I wanted to share with you a little bit about my day yesterday. I attended a grief and heartache yoga workshop. My friends Leba Lualdi
and Jenny Kane
taught the class, and I knew I was in a safe space to feel all the feels. That was the intention I set for myself during the class, I told myself “Feel all the feels.” Over the last 2 years of loss I haven’t always allowed myself this grace, and I should have.
I am proud of where I am at today. I am trying to claw myself back to the smiling bride I spoke about in an earlier blog post. At the same time I know I will be a different version of that bride, and I am happy with that. My scars, and the changes are what make me, me, and my journey mine. When I lost my best friend Heidi I didn’t know how to feel or what to do, who does? I had a husband and 4 children and I had to keep going, there was no curl up in a ball and give up allowed, so I did what I had to. I am proud of that. I did the best I could with the knowledge I had.
Through Heidi’s sickness she wanted us to keep going forward, to not give Cancer any power, and keep life as normal as possible. It is a time I am thankful for. In the class yesterday I thought about all the memories we made, in hospital rooms or on Heidi’s couch. Trying our best to LIVE. I thought about that, my sweet friend wasn’t just dying those last months she was LIVING and I am so thankful to have had that time. After she died though I just kept powering through. Write the eulogy, make a meal train, organize fundraisers, start a scholarship, anything and everything to keep busy and moving. People told me to slow down, I didn’t listen. It worked though I survived those first months and year, and that is something!
In the workshop yesterday Leba Lualdi
mentioned that we might arrive at a place in our grief journey where we don’t even recognize ourselves, the grief gets bottled up inside of us and then it comes out in ways: illness, anger, loss of employment the list could go on. It doesn’t just disappear it sneaks out and creeps in, in ways we aren’t always ready for. If I am honest, that is what I allowed to happen. I focused on everything but the sadness, and just KEPT GOING. If I had stopped just for a moment and truly felt that who knows what would have happened, maybe I wasn’t ready, maybe…maybe…maybe…who knows?! What I do know is I arrived at a place I wasn’t happy with.
My relationship with my lovely husband was suffering and frankly in general I just wasn’t happy with where I was. I was numbing away the feeling with anything and everything I could. After Heidi died, my paternal grandmother, then my uncle, then my maternal grandmother it was just grief on top of grief on top of grief. All the while I kept pushing through. Writing, walking, and yoga allowed for me to heal in ways I didn’t know possible. I started feeling the feels but I was still pushing feelings down. Eventually, Jonathan and I had what I like to refer to as a “blow up” fight. We don’t have them often, but when we do watch out! I remember waking up the morning after our disagreement and thinking: “No. nope, not doing this.” I made coffee, and then sat at the computer and found a counselor. I was tired of trying to push through alone, I didn’t feel supported and I wanted to feel like “myself” again whoever that was.
I started a Whole 30 and Jonathan and I signed up for restorative yoga classes and counseling sessions. We knew what we needed to do. We just needed the shove to do it. When we arrived at counsling it turned out we were trying to support each other, but we were falling short. Counseling, talking, yoga-ing, and being more aware of each others needs allowed so many breakthroughs and brought us to a place I am very proud of. Jonathan’s Dad passed away 6 weeks ago and I know that we are dealing with and supporting each other through this loss in a positive way because of the work we did. We didn’t know this was coming, he passed away suddenly, and the grief just came and swallowed us up. But we have new tools, and dealing with grief this time around feels different. Is it hard? Absolutely. Is it sad? For sure. This time though, we are supporting each other, not pushing each other away.
As I sat in the workshop yesterday and meditated and repeated my mantra: “Feel the feels,” and breathed in and out I suddenly found myself then saying “Let go, Let go, Let go…” I thought to myself as I was meditating (which I really shouldn’t have been doing but shhhhhhhhh lol)”Let go of what?” And I swear to you Heidi’s sweet voice came across the universe and said “the bullshit!” I immediately had tears streaming down my face and a smile on my lips. The voice continued “You are amazing! You spend all this time on me, remember you are my shooting star, and I think you are amazing! Let go of the bullshit, and keep doing what you are doing.” I laid there and let it set in and LET GO.
In the end my family, my husband, my friends, my church, my home, my lovely neighborhood community, that is beauty. The support I feel from them holds me up and allows me to continue moving forward and letting go of the bullshit.
Feeling the love, and the sadness, and the FEELS , while I breathe and move, and stay grounded in the RIGHT NOW is LIFE! We are all dying a little bit each day, but we are LIVING too. If I had any advice to give to someone who is new to grief, I would simply say, don’t push through, don’t numb, don’t force yourself to do it all, FEEL the feels, find a counselor or doctor or church person or whoever you trust to help you with the feelings. Find ways to enjoy the beauty that is still here. Grief is hard, but now almost 2 years later grief is LOVE. I can sit with it and it’s OK. This is all temporary. I am right here, right now, and I am thankful.
Thanks to my lovely friends for offering this workshop. I hope this writing reaches someone who needs it today, and that my crazy babble gives you something that you need.
Until next time…xxoo