December has arrived! Its a difficult month for many who are reminded their loved ones are no longer here to enjoy the holiday season . The 4th of every month can hit me like a ton of bricks but as December unfolds I am reminded of the day I gave birth for the 1st time to an 8lb 4oz baby girl and named her Rehtaeh Anne Parsons. December 9th changed my life amazing ways.
I have worked really hard on myself over these past 4yrs 8 months.I have come a long long way in this grief process. The most important thing that I learned and would love for others to learn is the only way forward in all of our pain is to go inward. We dont have to get lost in there but we do need to go there.We can numb ourselves out with addictive behaviours, drinking, shopping, working,social media etc. We can search for others to provide support and that does help us. Looking for others who have been through this helps to give us a sense of hope. We can do many things for temporary relief because who wants to feel such intense pain and sadness? We run from our emotions. We negate our feelings and stuff them in deep dark corners of our soul. But what happens when we do this? The emotions manifest in our bodies and rob us or our beautiful essence.
I too found many ways to avoid the pain of losing my child but the pain never went away. All my life’s coping mechanisms just couldnt stand up to this type of pain. I would feel completely out of control emotionally and that was terrifying. I had to find a new way of being with this grief. I could try to put the pain to the side then but where will it go? How could that type of pain possibly end? I decided to do the opposite of what everything in our society tells us to do. I invited the pain to rise up and meet me. I placed it front and center. When I explain this concept to people they often get scared. They worry that maybe if they go there they wont come back emotionally. Its not that we need to live in our pain but we do have to swim in those waters on occasion.
What do mean when I say meet my pain? Today I woke with a heavy heavy heart. I could have rushed to get up and start “doing” in an attempt to rid myself of that feeling. Instead, I checked in- instead of checking out. I placed my hand on my heart and said “I see you! I feel you! I know you are in pain! I am here for you!” Our emotions and feelings want to be seen and honoured and loved. Who is going to do that for us if we dont?
We tend to want to tell people to live for the positive. Be grateful! I am all of those qualities but my pain is also a part of who I am. I walk in my grief holding both hands out and loving all parts of me. When people ask me about self love – This is self love. That is the only way to move in intense pain.
We have to love ourselves fiercely!