New Layers of Grief

We have officially gone through all the “firsts.” Some days were easier than others and some was pure torture. I can’t sit here and tell you that things are any easier but I CAN tell you that I have learned how to deal with many things. Not to say that things don’t catch me off guard because they do. I can’t say that I am happy but I can smile and laugh and actually mean it! It’s not everyday but they are there. I can now say I have had a good day. A lot of times they are followed by a few really bad days but I know a good day will be coming soon. So my advise to others going through grief, hang on to those good days because early on, they are few and far in between. I am not saying this to discourage anyone but grief is real and it’s a hard journey but you can enjoy the blessings that are out there for you. The further you WORK through the stages of your grief, (it doesn’t go away on its own) you one day realize that you had a good day and they are more frequent but different than before. You are learning to live a different life.

After dealing with the holidays and Justin’s birthday, he would have been 20 yrs old, new layers of grief have been revealed. I have decided it is time for counseling again. In my previous posts, you see that I believe in faith and counseling. There for awhile, there was nothing new that I was going in with so I didn’t feel the need. Now there is. Some old things have resurfaced that I need to learn to work through, again. They aren’t as bad as they were before. I have now come to the understanding that I have to let some things go. The thing I have to let go is not understanding why Justin went through what he went through in his last moments. I’ll never understand it and, to tell you the truth, I can’t see any reason good enough to lose Justin. See why I have CHOSEN to work through something that is holding me back from the good of Justin? All the good memories we have of him, his voice, his laughter. Everything Justin! I know that Justin wants good and happiness for his family. That’s who Justin was and always will be. Today Danny Goeke’s song, “There’s Hope in Front of Me,” keeps going through my head. That may be God and Justin’s way of saying there is more good to come. God bless and I hope to hear from you because I know that I am not alone in grief. Is there anything that could help me or someone else?

2 thoughts on “New Layers of Grief

  1. Steve Chase

    Having lost the greatest person on the planet; my mom, I speak only from my own experience, in doing so, please understand this is my opinion only. I have found grief to be a double edged sword. It is neither friend or enemy, it just is. Grief is a tool to help us cope with loss, however just like any other tool, it can cause problems if used improperly. Grief is a natural thing that happens to everyone to some extent. It is how we chose to use the tool of grief that defines how our process will evolve. Grief gives us something tangible to hold on to instead of flailing around in some dark void. I liken grief to the ocean. It is a place of serenity and peace but if misused or misunderstood, it can pull you down and consume you.

    Many people are reluctant to step toward the outer banks of their grief because they believe they feel they might lose touch with their lost loved one. Trust me, you will never lose touch, you will never forget but, you must let go of letting it be an all consuming part of your every day life. Some people have said that “letting go” is a very selfish thing to do. Well, no it’s not. No one is asking to walk away from it altogether, just rearrange your focus a little. Begin to focus on daily routines, Get in touch with friends to do fun things. Only you are responsible for your health and you have to reconnect with being in charge of maintaining good physical and mental health. Get out and go for a walk EVERY day. It doesn’t have to be a long walk unless you want it to but get out all the same. Do things that are mentally stimulating. Remember, YOU are in charge of your health. Do not allow grief to take charge of you.

    Lifeguards are a very important part of being in the ocean in case something unforeseen comes along. Just as important are lifeguards in your grieving process. Talking about what you are experiencing with
    trusted friends, family member, or councilors are very important safeguards to help you along your way. They are there to help keep you from being consumed. Most importantly, allow yourself to heal. Does anyone honestly believe that our lost ones up in heaven rooting for us to be consumed by grief? No, truth be said, if I were up there looking down, ( God willing I will be looking down 🙂 ), I would be hard pressed not to sneak down just long enough to give a gentle thump of their heads and say, “HEY!! GET ON WITH LIFE ALREADY!!!!! Take the gifts that I have left behind for you and make something out of it. In your grief you honor my memory however, in standing strong and carrying on with pride, you honor me”.

    1. Sandra Post author

      Steve, that was well said!! Everyone comes to a crossroads where they have to make a CHOICE on how they are going to handle their grief. I really liked that you had pointed that out. I, personally, after not showering for a week and not brushing my teeth for three (my lowest point, by the way), asked myself, “Am I honoring Justin this way? Will THIS be making him proud?” The answer I came up with was NO.

      Again, I have to agree with you that we have to have a great support group. Whether it is friends, family, church family, etc. Like you said, grief can overtake us from time to time or for the rest of our lives. When we have to “let go” of certain things, it’s not letting go of that loved one. It is actually opening yourself up to living. Sometimes that is the hard part. For whatever reason, we are here. Let’s take that time to honor our loved ones and live for them. Steve, you know Justin. I think from time to time Justin does thump on the head and say, “Really, Mom?!”

      Another point you made that I totally agree with is YOU have to get to the point where you can get moving. I had a hard time going back to work and had to learn how to focus again. It is a conscience effort everyday but you know what? I’m getting better everyday. I continue to do things in Justin’s memory and to help others. I truly believe that I will always be doing things to help others remember Justin and try my best to continue the legacy that he left us. THAT is what makes them proud! Thank you, Steve, and God bless!


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