It is the season for graduation parties. That time of year when students celebrate their achievements having finished requirements in order to proceed ahead, either in school or life.
Recently I attended two graduation parties. One celebrated the end of high school and looking forward to college. The other honored a young lady who had finished college and has a bright future in the nursing field. Both studied hard, set their sights on a target, and reached their goals with joyful success.
At the time that as these young ladies were preparing and enjoying their parties and celebrations, another friend was reaching a different kind of achievement. After living a full life and doing his best to honor his family and his God, he stepped into Heaven, passing from life on earth after a long illness. While this may not be the type of achievement any of us desires, it is one that each of us will one day have to face. Death is inevitable.
As you watch your loved ones leave this earth, you are left learning how to deal with a life that has taken a new direction. Treading along on your grief journey will require you to determine new goals or targets on which to aim.
One important goal is to take care of yourself. Do your best to ask for and accept the help that others offer. One aspect of loss that I did not understand at first was that it actually helps others to help you. People do not always know how to express their sorrow and concern for you in words. That makes their gifts of time and deeds even more meaningful – to you and to them.
One other goal you might seek is to be patient. Give yourself permission to go slowly. Take time to treasure your memories if you can. Stop to feel, admit, and embrace your emotions. It is okay to be sad; everyone expects that. However, it is also okay to be confused, forgetful, upset, angry, and weary. Your emotions are real and denying them will not make them go away faster. In fact, admitting they exist and dealing with them will help propel you forward on your grief journey.
Achievements are reason to celebrate. We all experience them to different degrees. As you learn to walk through loss, rejoice in the baby steps and small achievements you acquire. It is not an easy road so be encouraged with any forward progress you make.
Until next time –
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.