On 2/12/2022 , the three month mark hit from when my daddy took his last breath. I actually forgot we were at the ninety-day mark. It approached so quickly. Only reason the remembrance kicked in was because I received an influx of text messages reminding me this milestone was here the day prior. I softly celebrated that I forgot not bc my father has passed but bc I’m healing.
To me that was a soft win. I’ll never forget 11/12/2021 but if I can master the rhythm of this new normal to journey each day with less hurt that makes my heart smile. Something about now knowing caused me to lay in bed a little bit longer, sit in silence before coming out the room and reflect as I lay.
The first month milestone was heavy and etched in my spirit. I knew I couldn’t take myself through the agony of counting month by month. However with the holidays two weeks following it was rather difficult. Christmas was our favorite time, so all the memories were heavy. But on New Years Eve, my dads pastor preached a sermon about “lessons at midnight.” In this sermon, he thoughtfully mentioned his experience of still dealing with the after effects of my fathers death and how he was pushing through.
It may sound silly but it gave me a second wind, his acknowledgement and the remainder of the sermon really comforted my spirit. However, somehow I kept finding triggers to set off my grief. Whether it was through family members social media posts, a song, texts, or a kind gesture all I know was tsunami wave of tears kept coming and I needed to regroup. It wasn't a resolution coming into the new year but more so I can't and I won't. If you truly know me you know I have a love hate relationship with social media. Over the past year and a half I've been in rhythms of simply walking away.
So upon the new year some could say outside of my professional channels I went radio silent, yet again. It was necessary as I put my counseling tools into practice, gained consistency in going to my grief support group while being knees deep in work. Though not wanting to count each month, somehow when month two rolled around something funky and heavy in my spirit bubbled to the top of the surface.
60 days alarm went off loud on the inside. I can be a master of doing all the things, especially on the weekend, but this particular weekend I woke up put my big girl hoodie on, balled up on the couch with the blanket my best friend had mailed to me and sat with the grief. What does sitting with grief look like someone asked me? Well for me, it looked like this.
I exhaled and turned on the tv. I navigated to the YouTube app and put on videos and old teachings of dads Bible teachings.
The tears flowed and then a creative spark hit and I went to town working on my latest project to remember my dad. The tears didn't stop as you edit footage and create something that's in remembrance of it feels surreal, but I know this is something even he would smile to. Even though the tears kept flowing my fingers were in a flow of their own on the keys... the keys of my keyboard that is. My laptop is so therapeutic. The days following was the next meeting for my grief support group.
Before I get into that, from the time my daddy died, friends and close acquaintances of my tribe that was just sending me prayers and encouragement was now sitting in the grief seats besides me. As their mom or dad passed weeks following my dad. Where the words “I completely understand” were leaving my mouth and my heart breaking for them as I know this new grief journey they’re about to embark on. This image below captures it perfectly.
My grief group has been the blessing I honestly didn’t know I needed. To hear, though sorrowful, many stories like mine, the tribe of support, has been what I’ve needed. The tribe of support gathered me. Not just around grieving the death of my daddy, though heavy on its own, but the complexities around it, the compounded layers of grief, they too understood.
So as I’ve been using my tools from prayer, journaling, counseling, group, prayer here are my 90 day takeaways:
We’re all one moment, one event away from something having the capacity to completely shake up your core where everything around you is tested. Firm foundation is key here. It's the saving grace in this season.
Being silent and sitting still in your feelings is not scary it’s the best kind of solitude. Even in your thoughts, your prayers, the tears will fall, embrace it. It feels like after each re-centering solitude session I have when the next grief wave hits it's not as bad, not as long, and for that I'm grateful. Also to my surprise the creativity that comes out on the other side of it will even blow your mind.
My feelings are my feelings and I will not feel guilty or explain them away bc of someone else’s perception of them. They’re allowed to feel too but that doesn’t make mine less. Disengage healthily for my peace.
Strength is found in my ability to handle my vulnerability moments. Not rushing them off or over explaining but simply embracing it.
Reading is soul care. I like to read, but staying consistent amongst the to do list it hasn't always stayed a priority. However, this is a favorite pastime that I've gotten back to embracing. I read this book "Divine Disruptions" and while it's a story on grief and overcoming though my story not the same in the book the introspective reflections helped me to uncover other feelings lying dormant in the grieving process. Same for some of the other books I'm now reading. Reading and
I’m not responsible for anyone else in my family healing during this process of grief. It’s okay if I don’t have answers or responses bc I’m trying to figure it out too.
Choosing me isn’t selfish and I owe no one an explanation. I’ve over cared for so long centering on what my needs are allows me to be self interested during this season.
Disconnect and Block are blessings. The minute my spirit feels you’re unsafe this is the order and I will not compromise. I’ve been this way for a little bit but heavy in this season.
I am certainly not an expert in grief nor do I aspire to be but I know our stories are others blueprint. I smile because everyday I'm growing through grief and here's what I've learned so far in 90 days. I'm sure there will be more, but for now these are my core learnings. I'm taking it one day at time, one minute at time, heck depending on the day, one second at a time. Keeping my pen and pad ready.