National Grief Awareness Day
National Grief Awareness Day is a great day for giving yourself permission to grieve.
You’re not alone if you’ve not been feeling yourself lately.
You’re not alone if you’re feeling sad.
You’re not alone if things are feeling heavy.
We’re hearing about terrible things happening in our country and around the world.
It just feels like it’s too much. War, violence, shootings, illness and disease.
Even if you haven’t been personally affected, these horrible events may be hitting you hard. That’s actually pretty normal.
On top of everything going on in the world, it’s also college drop off time. As a mom of two college children, I’ve got many friends experiencing the “post college drop off blues.” I’m one of them.
Yes, they’re healthy. Yes, they’re where they’re supposed to be. But that does not take away the ache in the heart that comes with the loss of not having the energy of your adult children in the house. Don’t talk yourself out of your feelings. Feel them.
You’re not alone if you’re feeling that too. It’s grief. It hurts. I recently posted my own recent experience in a facebook group, and it received over 1,300 “likes” and over 100 comments – I know that other parents can relate and are feeling the same. (Click HERE if you’d like to read what I wrote.) But so often, we talk ourselves out of feeling and grieving. https://drpeggydelong.com/permission-to-grieve/
You think you don’t deserve to feel sad because someone else “has it worse” than you.
Or maybe you don’t want to feel because it’s too painful.
Or maybe you’re going through the loss of a friendship, or an expectation or dream that can never be realized.
If you’re feeling like this is hitting you really hard right now, I’ve created something that might help. It’s called Healing Grief with 5 Daily Exercises. You can grab it for free, here.
Don’t judge yourself for feeling sad regarding any loss you may be experiencing right now.
Don’t judge yourself if you have difficulty getting out of bed thinking you don’t “deserve” to be sad.
When we hear about or witness the suffering of others, it can take an emotional toll.
In addition, if you’ve experienced the loss of a loved one, hearing about the horrible things going on in the world can intensify your grief.
Once again, this can happen even when you have not been personally affected by recent tragedies in the news.
This is called compounded grief.
Compounded grief can happen when you’ve experienced the loss of a loved one, and then you experience an additional loss, natural disaster, or something terrible happens in the world.
This “grief overload” or pile on effect can occur even if your dear loved one passed away a decade ago, and even if you’ve done your “grief work” and experienced much healing.
Compounded grief can make you really sad and really miss your loved one. It doesn’t mean that you’re regressing. It means that you’re human.
Grief is trauma. Trauma marks a stamp on our hearts. While that ink may fade over the years, the feelings may resurface from time to time.
Trauma has a cruel way of making feelings from years ago feel like yesterday. Allow yourself to feel and share your feelings with a trusted friend, or journal. I have yet to meet someone personally or professionally who healed by stuffing their thoughts or feelings.
If you’re experiencing loss or compounded grief, allow yourself to feel.
Don’t judge yourself for the way you’re feeling. Have compassion for yourself, and understand that these are common psychological experiences. That’s why they have names.
Here are some steps to take care of yourself.
- Allow yourself to feel.
- Process and express your feelings. Talk with a trusted friend. Journal.
- Limit your exposure to the news.
- Have compassion for yourself. You’re not being “too sensitive.” You’re being human. An empathic, caring human.
- Take action and help others in ways that feel good for you.
Then when you’re ready, engage in an activity that elevates your mood and energy. Do what works for you à Listen to music, journal, move your body, spend time in nature.
To help during these difficult times of vicarious trauma, post college drop off blues, and compounded grief, I developed Healing Grief with 5 Daily Exercises.
Click HERE for your free download.
In case you need one last nudge… allow yourself to feel. Allow yourself to grieve. Trust that in feeling, you’re healing.
PS – I’m running a free LIVE workshop for widows on Zoom for coping with grief on Monday, September 26th. Click HERE to register