Surviving A Season Of Grief: What I Have Learned

I am no expert on grief.

I am not a counselor by trade nor do I have any new, life changing, insights to share.

What I do have, is experience with grief.

Grief over the loss of both of my parents.

Grief over the unknowns about the medical issues that my children are currently facing/overcoming.

I never asked for or wanted these experiences, but I am determined to make something good out of it.

Surviving A Season Of Grief: What I Have Learned

Grief is such a strange thing.

There are so many different types of loss and pain.

There are so many ways to experience it.

A friend of mine articulated it perfectly when he said,

You feel bad when you’re sad.

You feel guilty when you’re not sad.

You wonder if it will ever end, and you can forget.

You hope that it doesn’t, because you worry you’ll forget.

Here are a few things that I have learned about grief:

1. There is no time limit

I needed someone to tell me this when I lost my dad. 

It is so hard to grieve in our culture.

We live in a fast-paced, convenient, microwave society.

If you have ever been faced with loss, you can likely attest that you have felt this unspoken pressure or expectation to be okay (and quickly).

But grieving is a process and processes take time.

There is a lot to unpack when it comes to pain.

Give yourself the grace and the time – as much as you need and then some.

2. Grief Ebbs and Flows

Like the tide, it comes in waves.

There are good days and bad days. In time, the good days start to outnumber the bad days.

But even with time, it can hit you out of nowhere and you mourn your loss all over again.

I, personally, find that my loss is magnified around Christmas time.

I enjoy Christmas very much, but I do miss celebrating Christmas with my parents.

3. Just keep TALKING

The best way to heal, in my experience, is to talk about your loss. Talk about it often and with people who love you.

Laugh and remember your best memories…and cry about the hard ones.

Having someone who will listen and even ask questions is GOLDEN! You need to talk about your loved one.

If you are not in a place where you have people that you can confide in, see a therapist!

4. It is so worth it to do the hard work of healing.

As much as I wish that I did not have experience with grief, I am thankful that I do.

I believe that it allows me to connect with and empathize with people who need it most.

I can offer comfort to others by having survived through my own loss and also by trekking through the unknowns of my current season.

I can genuinely look someone in the eye and assure them that someday, it actually will be okay.

It makes me a better friend. 

It makes me a better mama.

It gives me greater compassion.

I believe that my pain has purpose, and I plan to offer hope to whoever I can share it with.

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Madeline is an Iowa transplant from deep in the heart of Cajun country, south Louisiana that is! She and her husband, Josh, moved to the Cedar Rapids area (Ely!) nearly 4 years ago. They have two little girls, Ellis (3) and Emerson (1). She once considered living in Iowa to be a short-term season...until she fell in love with the community that she and Josh built here. Now, they are laying down roots and raising their family! She has recently become a stay-at-home mom who often strives to find that elusive unicorn called "balance." Madeline would describe herself as a lover of the outdoors, public speaking, spicy food, deep heart-to-heart conversations, ministry, NAPS, and "momming"! She is passionate about her faith and her people!