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My dad died 3 years and a couple of days ago. I spent this last week, buried in my work, spending time with friends, reading new research, basically making sure that I had so much shit to do that I didn’t have time to think about the anniversary of his death. It worked, until Sunday! Sunday I didn’t have a full day of clients. Sunday I packed up the last of my things at my old house. Sunday I worked on getting caught up from a whirlwind week. Sunday I waited for a text from a friend. Sunday I dropped my soda on the way in to the office. Sunday sitting at my desk, I experienced the tsunami of grief.
I was sitting at my desk, working on an email, music playing in the background. There was a tingle in my brain, then warmth spread over my face, then tears stung my eyes. Before I knew what had happened I was sobbing, tears falling on keyboard, the heaviness of loss weighing me down, and I couldn’t breathe. The grief was so overwhelming I needed someone who knew me just to tell me it was ok. I called Shanna, she picked up and before I could even say a word, she said, “what’s wrong”? I sobbed my story to her and just she listened. She reminded me that I am allowed to have bad days and that my emotions are all valid. She told me the same things I would say to a client who was in the same place. We talked, I cried, and then I took a deep breath.
Grief can be a tsunami, like I experienced today. Sometimes it is a small tickle in the back of your mind. I recently was talking to a client about what I call “scheduling grief” it is taking time to experience your grief, so that it doesn’t overwhelm you. Normally when I start to see signs in my life that I need to grieve a loss in my life, I will take the time to put aside a half hour to “do my grief thing”. The thing is, this time I didn’t want to, I thought if I just power through the week I could make it. The lesson, we all experience loss and we all need to grieve those losses. Take the time to let yourself fully feel the emotion, find a way to process the emotion, and finally… Breathe.