Learning to Process Grief

If I were to be honest, as a non-parent, all I can do is guess. So have grace with me if you’re a parent and you do or dont do this. NO judgement here, just talking about myself out loud.

I’m not a parent (yet) I’ve experienced two miscarriages within 9 months and so I’ve put in a lot of thought of “when I become a mom…” Now I know how the saying goes, “you’ll see when you have your own kids and what you would and wont do.”

I get it. I have no idea what kind of a parent I’ll be. BUT with that being said. One thing I will strive to do for my future mini-me’s is how to process emotions.

Easy, right? Ha. Probably not the slightest but hear me out. Growing up I don’t remember having many bad or disappointments in life. No. I’m not talking about materialistic things… My parents gave me my fair share of no’s and I clearly remember being grounded or threatened with a leather belt. But what I’m talking about here is about dealing with loss and sadness. We had loss in our family. But if I’m being honest, I dont remember ever feeling grief during those times, nor do I remember my parents showing any grief. Whether that was good or bad, as an adult I can see the benefits of both, experiencing guilt out loud and the opposite, not acknowledging that its there.

Having back-to-back miscarriages, I can say I’m learning a lot about grief. It’s not easy but at this point it’s necessary. And I think it’s even more critical that as a society we learn how to share our grief with each other.

A few days ago, I shared my story with the Facebook world. Before hitting that start button my heart felt like it was going to explode. So many fears came over me

Was I going to make sense?

Will people judge me for sharing something so personal?

Will I be able to keep myself composed and not sob like a baby?

What will people say?

Will people actually relate to me or am I crazy for feeling this way?

All of these were legitimate questions I had as the numbers counted down to my live broadcast. But like one of my mentors says, “Kick fear in the face”. So I did.

IT WAS HARD. I don’t remember all that was said because I was completely in the moment. It was raw and honest of where I was at and what I had been through.

The 3 weeks leading up to that moment, I was living in a cave. Ignoring phone calls, text messages and conversations that started with “How are you doing?” I had no idea how to process the question and put it into words. I would be anything from sad, mad, anger, hurt, disappointed, ashamed, confused, or lonely in a matter of seconds to minutes so how the heck would I be able to answer that question without going crazy. So I avoided it. With our first miscarriage, I shared with a few people the truth but then used the phrase, “I’m good. Today is better than yesterday.” with everyone else.

And I hated myself for not being authentic. The reality of it all was that I was standing chest deep in the ocean getting ransacked by the emotional tidal waves. There were days where I felt the waves a little less because I turned my back to them and shielded my face and then there were the moments where I had the courage to take them head on usually during a therapy session or with my small group because I had extra support to hold me up.

That’s I think the challenge with grief or any true emotion. When you allow yourself to feel it, the waves come in different forms and your preparedness for them also changes. A dear friend of mine shared with me after my first miscarriage that grief comes in waves and you’ll have to learn to allow it and then move on.

I had no idea what she meant. I guess it’s one of those things you have to experience in order to understand. (Like surfing… you don’t know how it feels until you do it.)

In a backwards sort of way, I feel like God has given me another chance to grow and understand pain and discomfort. Over the last year I’ve gotten some incredible support and acquired some much needed tools to handle emotions.

I dont think my parents knew how to teach and lets face it, they had their hands full with all of us kids. I once read that emotions are simply energy in motion. It made sense in theory but I never had fully allowed myself to experience the energy because I was so scared of where it would lead.

At this moment, I can say that it has lead me to freedom, no longer do I feel I need to hold on to the steering wheel and I can just enjoy the ride, the dips, the twists and the dark tunnels because I know God will keep me safe and the journey of life doesn’t stop!