Grief, Movement, and Being Present

August 12, 2013 3 Comments

This post is a little personal than usual, but I felt I had to share. Being a soloprenuer with a day job can be pretty nuts. Throw family in and tough times and keeping moving can, at times, seem like an insurmountable task.

 

Grandpa was a generous and brave man. He flew P-38s in WWII. Always had a smile on his face, and a joke in his heart. He always helped anyone with a dream and a goal- family or not. 

Over the past 5 months, I have been experiencing the slow decline of my grandfather. Bedridden and hospitalized since February, he has not been really with us since the week before he went in. He has been like a father to me and is totally part of the reason I am able to pursue my dreams. Being at his side during the decline has been really difficult, but I wouldn't change it.

There are no easy answers to any of it, but these little actions have helped me get through.

 

  • One foot in front of the other:

I had this one weekend where I had an event with my brother, then a craft show I had to pack for, and my family was having a meltdown. All I wanted to do was hide under the covers. So I did. For a little while. Then I just started packing my stuff for the show. One box at a time. I took my time, and didn't think too hard. Eventually it all made it in the car and I knew I would get through it. I felt better for the movement. Sometimes thinking 10 steps ahead are just too many.

Just start with that first thing and you'll be ok.

 

  • Create Space:

Give yourself you time. Grief and hardship must be given time to process- to just wrap your head around what is going on and prepare for what may come. I took walks. I sat outside with a journal at sunset and just listened to the crickets thrum. I meditated. Pressuring myself to work through it and be creative would not have been the right thing to do. Burning out on all ends would leave me no energy to help my family.

Listen to yourself and give the time you need to move through.

 

  • Reach Out:

What has amazed me is the most unlikely people were there for me when I was the most vulnerable. They weren't always my closest friends, but they were people who have experienced similar tragedies and just knew. They knew what to say and what not to say. They knew to just give you a hug or squeeze a smile out of you.

Be alone when you need it, but know when to have a little company. It can heal.

 

  • Take Care:

of yourself, of your family. Eat. Sleep. Take a shower. You still need to be human while these emotionally draining events occur. A little bit of self love goes a long way to helping you manage through.

 

  • Be there:

Go to the hospital. Be by their side. Hold your loved one's hand. Talk to them, even when you think they can't hear. Sometimes it is not just about them feeling your presence. You need to process and say the things that are important. Do it now and you regret it. When the time comes, you'll know you did what you could and gave what you had.

 

  • Take it as it comes:

There is so much you don't have control over. Accept that and be in the moment with your loved one. Focus on what you can to and roll with what comes across your path. There were weeks where there was a huge change everyday. Better and worse and it was a real roller coaster. There was nothing to be done, but just be there. Same then as now with the grief, when a wave comes, just ride it out.

 

There is no easy way and often time and mindfulness is the best cure. I hope if you are reading this you find a way to cope. If you have gone through and have some helpful tips, please share!

 

Thanks and Hugs.




3 Responses

Kimberly Kling
Kimberly Kling

August 12, 2013

Jenn- This is so beautiful. I love how you’ve been able to take your grief and put it into such meaningful words…words that have the potential to help others through hard times as well. I especially love your advice about one foot in front of the other. It’s wonderful advice for probably any hard situation. It’s hard to not mind-jump in to the future with what-ifs and overwhelm, but staying as close to the present as possible is probably the best path.

Your grandfather sounds like an amazing person with a huge heart. I’m very sorry for your loss and wish you comfort and healing. Sending lots of hugs your way!

Brett @ IAMTHELAB
Brett @ IAMTHELAB

August 12, 2013

Jenn -

Just saw this post. My heart breaks for you and your family. All of your suggestions are excellent. Remember that grief is personal and is different for each person. You deserve the time to grieve and it honor your loved one when you do so. You are such a wonderful person and your family is fortunate to have you by their side in these difficult times. Know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. Hugs back!

SARAH SCOTT
SARAH SCOTT

August 12, 2013

Jen……I’m sooo sorry you’ve lost your grandfather. It’s hard to know what to say and I don’t want to use a cliche, but he is suffering no more…he is at peace. The missing him will get better in time, and just remember the good times with him and celebrate his life. Being as old as I am, I have lost lots of family, Including my parents, and a husband, so I’ve had my share of grieving…and it does get better. Try to keep busy and be with friends.
You are a very special person to me and I love you…Sarah

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