Roll Up Your Sleeves


As I was walking down the hallway with a young girl Saturday afternoon, she was sharing her excitement of going to eat treats. She explained that you have to roll up your sleeves first before digging in for the good stuff. I smiled as she set the example by rolling up her own sleeves, demonstrating her preparedness to begin.

This wise little three-year-old caused me to reflect upon the other reasons you might need to roll up your sleeves. The work of grief necessitates attentiveness. If ignored, the sorrow of loss will overwhelm and fool you into thinking you are defeated. However, the only defeat in grief is giving up. By being willing to put real effort into your journey, you can find yourself moving forward and making progress following your loss.

Traveling grief is not clean – it tends to get a bit messy. Therefore, roll up your sleeves and get ready to apply some elbow grease. Very seldom do good things come without work.

While you may be tempted to ignore the pain and cover it up with activity and being busy, the hard work of grief is rolling up your sleeves and slowing down enough to address your loss. Give yourself some time to reflect and remember. The memories might be painful, but they are special gifts that you will look back one day treasure.

Part of my experience of rolling up sleeves and getting to work was by keeping a journal about my grief. Writing down my experiences, both difficult ones and pleasant ones, helped me solidify and hold onto things in my mind that I feared I might forget over time. The things that I learned, I wanted to pass on to others, in hopes that my discoveries would be found helpful to others suffering a loss.

I want to encourage you to roll up your sleeves and get to work. Embrace the exertion you will experience in traveling your grief journey well. Be proud of yourself for the steps forward you will make. Give yourself grace for the backward step you may encounter here and there. Most of all, keep your sleeves up and be willing to get your hands dirty as you make your way through this difficult time.

Until next time –


(picture used with permission of parents)


Grief Letters By Karen Bransgrove, Published by WestBow Press. You can order here.

Hardcover | 6 x 9 in | 114 pages | ISBN 9781490869674

Softcover | 6 x 9 in | 114 pages | ISBN 9781490869667

E-Book | 114 pages | ISBN 9781490869650

Also available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

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