We can grieve for many reasons in life. Death of a loved one, the end of an important friendship, and the loss of love. We can even grieve different stages of our lives. Changing jobs. Moving. Children growing up.
What I’ve learned is that you can be actively grieving but still enjoy your life. You can be happy and laugh. You can succeed, move on. Days will vary, but you’ll notice that even though there is grief, there is fulfillment.
I don’t think grief ever goes away. There are good days, when life seems easy and “normal.” Then there are overwhelming days of sadness. The hard days where the grief takes control. Those days aren’t bad. They don’t make you less of a person. The good days and the hard days are both necessary in the grieving process, no matter what you are grieving.
People know you are grieving and want to be there for you. To support you, encourage you, and love you. But the message I feel the need to share is: “I can be grieving and still live a happy, full life.”
Yes, the holidays are hard. Yes, there are days that I wish things were the same they were a little over a year ago. The stretches of hard days seem to be getting shorter. Do I need love and support? Yes. Constantly. However, I don’t need the pity. The sad looks. The tone of conversation. The comments. I know that it all isn’t pity. I know people genuinely care and want to be there. But I’m not sad. I am mourning, and learning, and living.
Yes, I talk about the grief and the struggles. However, there is so much more to my life than that. Maybe I need to share more of the positive. Maybe that’s my fault. People need to see that. I need to see that. It’s easy to focus on the hard times. It’s so easy to be sad.
I feel that this is why life is more fulfilling after a major loss—the loss of a loved one, a job, a friend, etc. Moving to a new house or city. No matter the reason, after loss, life becomes different. Priorities shift. Your mindset changes. It takes more of an effort to recognize the good and to embrace that. It makes it that much better. That much more fulfilling of a life. To really see and appreciate the good in others, and especially yourself, is amazing during grief.
I can be grieving and still live a happy, full life.
When you feel like you are being pitied, remind your friends and family of this. Remind them that you aren’t just sad. You aren’t hopeless. Yes, there may be days you need help. Yes, there are hard days. You will ask for help when you need it. Remind them that you can still be happy in the sadness.
Most of all, remind yourself.