A few weeks ago, I lost someone close to me, my mommy’s older brother, my Uncle William. The day I found out, I went to my dad’s house crying and selfishly woke him letting him know that my uncle had passed and that I was overcome by grief. We’ve lost too many in the Clark family.
|My Uncle and my Mommy. May they rest in peace.|
My Uncle William was an amazing man. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, cousin, neighbor and just an overall great guy to all who came in contact with him. He always checked on me and my cousins near or far. Whenever I went over his house, he made me feel like I was at home and each time my Aunt Karen had a delicious meal on the stove with enough to share with whoever happened to be at their house. I remember distinctly when my mother was ill she would always be on the phone with my Uncle William. When I would call her, she would without fail say I just got off the phone with your Uncle William, you should call him sometime. My dad jokingly said she should move up to NJ to talk in person since they spent most of their time each day talking with each other. My Uncle William always called to check on my mother, and we really appreciated it. He was there for her when we couldn’t be all the time. Everyone in my family has similar stories of how Uncle William looked out for them in their times of need.
Since my mom passed away, three people that have meant a lot to me have died and each time it happens I feel the wound gets slightly ripped back open.
So over the years, I’ve learned a few ways to deal with grief, and I thought I share with you all:
1. Remember God is in control. This is important. When I first lost my mother, I felt like my whole world had been pulled out from under me. She was my biggest ally, my mentor, and my daily dose of truth. I promised God the day she passed that I would not turn away from Him, and despite the times I’ve been frustrated, I still trust Him. He has worked everything out perfectly with respect to the plan He has for my life and those around me. I do not need to worry that I’m in this alone or about what will come tomorrow because He has already made a way.
2. It’s okay to express your emotions…in a healthy manner. Talk it out, write, work out, scream, cry, whatever it takes. I have a journal and use some blog posts to express my feelings.
3. Know everyone grieves differently. Just because you grieve differently than someone else does not make you wrong. My dad and I dealt completely differently with the loss of my mother. At first, he was not extremely outward about how he felt or talking about it, but once we joined classes he opened up and expressed his feelings. He did not need to rush his process. Some people don’t grieve much at all. It really depends on the person and the situation.
4. Understand not everyone will be able to understand or relate, and that’s okay. Even people with the best of intentions or who care about you may say the wrong things. My husband may not be able to fully understand how I feel, but he really cares and has not said anything crazy. Many people do not know how to respond to your grief, and you shouldn’t expect them to. If someone says something out of ignorance, don’t dwell on it, just move on.5. Surround yourself with people who will encourage you. Find people to share memories with, to laugh with, to cry with, and who can put things in perspective.
6. Go to Grief Share classes or meet with a grief counselor, if necessary. I went to Grief Share at a local church with my dad and husband and it made a world of difference. I encourage you to look up places in your area that have Grief Share classes here.
7. Do something in honor or memory of that person. Go to their favorite places. Start a non-profit for their namesake. Run a race. Achieve a goal. Watch their favorite movies. Do things you all enjoy together. I’ve done a little bit of all of these things. I’m still working on creating the non-profit, Team Rose, to spread cancer awareness and help encourage those fighting cancer. Even though, it’s not an official non-profit yet, my husband and I have laid the groundwork and attended a non-profit class.
8. Understand that grief comes in waves some you can anticipate and some you cannot anticipate. Some waves can be anticipated such as important dates related to your loved one, holidays, or when you go places that remind you of your loved one. Others waves come out of the blue. Just prepare when you can.
Grieving differs for each person so don’t expect to get through it the exact same way as someone else did. If you are grieving, I pray the Lord keeps you and gives you peace.Much love,