Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Dealing with Loss

Experiencing loss is not something that is easy. 

Today is a day filled with emotion for me. It is the 4 year anniversary of losing my grandma, but most days it hurts just as much as the day she left this earth. She was the only grandparent I knew and an incredible lady. She was involved in every aspect of my life and supported me in all I did. 

Time alone does not heal, but healing does take time.

Loss affects each person differently, however healing from loosing a loved one is (and has to be) an active process for everyone. Any type of wound we receive throughout life will not heal properly if it is just left alone. 

LegacyConnect paints an amazing picture of this and why healing does not happen passively: "If we have a cut and do nothing to clean it out or do not apply a salve, it will probably form a scab. It might take longer and it might develop an infections, but the wound will most likely close and leave a scar."

Death is not a time to stop living, but is a time to keep those we love
 close to our hearts and continue to pursue our life in their honor.

If I could give you one piece of advice that I wish I would of listened to 4 years ago, it would be to create a journal with memories of the one you are losing or have lost right away. My mom told me when I lost my grandma, and actually got me a journal with prompts, to write down all my favorite memories, sayings, etc of my grandma. At the time my response was that I wouldn't forget any of the memories because, well, how could I. But as time has passed my memories have faded. Luckily I have a lot of pictures, which help to look at but, I really wish I would have created the journal. 

It is also something that can be started early if it is not a sudden loss. If you have a family member who has been ill for a long time or made a turn for the worse you could interview them so to speak. You may be saying right now what I said back then "I know all of it, why would I do that" and I did too but, I am sharing with you that the little things become not so easy to recall through time. My grandma was ill for many years and even though I had these conversations with her very often, especially more frequent closer to her passing, I wish I would have wrote it all down. 

Learn from me, take the time to write it down. You won't regret it. 

Talking with them is also a way to hear things that maybe you did not know. I will forever remember the morning of the day my grandma passed. My family and I always pegged my grandma as a rose lady. She was very classy and well, roses just fit. However, this thursday morning as I was getting ready for school in my grandmas room she said out of a dead silence "I like daises." My mom and I looked at each other and quickly responded to her "What was that? We always got you roses! You're a rose girl!" She showed a little grin and said, "They were always very pretty, but I like daises." 

A few days prior, on Tuesday, our priest had come over to anoint my grandma and I shared with him how I was scared and asked how would I know she was okay. I had lost friends and family friends but, I had never lost someone in my immediate family. He looked at me and said, "I cannot tell you how to know if she is okay, I am here and have never died.." (our priest is very awesome and real life) "..but, what I can tell you to do is go talk to your grandma about it." Once he left my mom grabbed my hand and we walked down the hall together. I had a hard time asking so my mom did it for me and my grandma responded, "Oh, she'll know." Two days later shared something with me I never knew about her. Then was when I knew I had my sign. Now I can never look at a daisy without thinking of my grandma. I cannot begin to explain to you the most amazing places they will pop up, especially, when it's a time I need to feel her presence most. 

Although that is some advice from me personally, I want to also share some coping techniques I found on helpguide.org

• Get Support: 
    - do not grieve alone
    - important to have support from others
    - if you are not one to express normally know its important to during grief
    - connecting to others can help you heal
        - turn to friends and family
        - if faith-filled, draw comfort from faith
        - if feel friends or family won't understand, join a support group
        - if it feels like too much to bear, talk to a grief counselor

• Take Care Of Yourself:
    - during grief this is more important than ever
       - major stress depletes energy 
    - face your feelings
       -express them in tangible or creative ways
    - look after physical health
    - don't let anyone tell you how to feel and don't tell yourself how to feel
        - stages of grief are all different; even if it's about the same person
        - it's okay to be angry, to cry, to find moments or joy and peace, etc. 
        - let yourself just feel whatever you are feeling
    - plan ahead for grief triggers
        -anniversaries, holidays, milestones; it's not just the firsts that are hard
        - it's normal for these to be difficult, share what your feeling

"Perhaps they are not stars in the sky, but rather openings 
where our loved ones shine down to let us know they are happy."

Questions of the Day:
1) Have you lost someone close to you? How did you get through it?
2) Do you have any signs that are special to you for a lost loved one?
3) Which coping techniques do you find or think are the hardest?

❤ Nichole

I love and miss you grandma, forever and always. Never Alone. 3/11/10 <3


  1. March 11th is indeed a day that affects us both.
    I'm very sorry about your loss. I'm glad that you have been able to cope with it. Some of the things we each wrote on our post are so similar.
    Thank you for the love and thoughtful words you left on my page.
    I hadn't considered what you said about memories. My dad passed before the big push of social media and digital cameras so all the pictures of him are printed and only my mom has them. I wish I would have kept some type of journal the way you mentioned.

    1. Thank you for yours here<3

      I wish I would have too. Maybe one day you could get them from her and scan them so you have them digitally.

      That's where a lot of mine came from as well because they were print too. When we were preparing boards for her funeral we scanned them in as well so now I have them digitally.

      Love and strength <3

  2. This post really made me think.I always imagined my Grandparents living forever,but I see them getting elderly and I realise they don't.I definitely think I'm going to take the time to take more photos and put down the social media to talk to them more.xx

    Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

    1. Oh my goodness, thank you so much for sharing the impact this post had on you!

      I used to think that same thing. Once my grandma started to get sick I still had the thought that she would just pull through. I knew however when she started to get really bad that reality was she wasn't going to physically be here with me forever. And even more so when she told my family she was ready to go, two days before she passed. I think we all always hope the ones we love will never leave us.

      I am really glad to hear you want to begin to make more quality time with them. You certainly won't regret the memories you'll have from them. <3


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