Grief is Lonely

The holidays were over, and I was feeling blah. I couldn’t pin point it. I couldn’t shake it. I wanted to stay curled up on the couch all day. In my head, I was complaining about everything. I knew the only alternative was to get moving. I forced myself to get up and head outside. After about a mile on the snowshoeing trails, the loneliness of grief overwhelmed me. The tears flowed as I realized my way of coping wasn’t working.

I had let the isolation of the season and my own need to suffer in silence prevent me from reaching out to siblings. While sympathetic, my husband and kids didn’t recognize the source of my moodiness. I had spent weeks stuffing my grief. I didn’t want to spoil the season for others or myself. The problem was I had robbed my kids of understanding grief and myself of any opportunity to feel the joy of the season.

a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, (Ecclesiastes 3:3-5 NIV).

There is a reason why the Old Testament and Jewish tradition speak of a time to grieve. There is also a reason it is done in community. Grief is lonely, but it doesn’t have to be. Being intentional with sharing stories, taking specific time to remember, and not being afraid to talk about our loved ones helps the grief move through and not get bottled up within our bodies.

We all grieve differently. I have learned that I hold it in when I should be talking, crying, laughing and remembering in her memory.

Do you find grief lonely? Are you paying attention to your feelings? Do you stuff them? What has helped you move through grief? Share your experience here and breathe life and bring hope to others.

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