It’s been a while since my last blog and I wanted to check in before the new year. I’ve been very quiet in my writing lately. I felt I had nothing really to say. The word ‘empty’ continued to come up in my heart and mind. I’ve felt empty lately because I’ve come to a point in my grieving process that every emotional feeling and thought no longer occupies my mind. I’m at a place where I’m able to share my exact feelings at that very moment. So many of us who are grieving tend to hide our pain from our friends and family. We are scared that they may not truly understand how we’re feeling or our pain because they probably haven’t ever experienced this type of grief. So many of us walk around with smiles on our faces pretending we are okay but we truly are not. We hide so much pain– not realizing it causes more damage and hurt towards our grieving process. During the holidays, we try to hold back the tears and pain in our hearts because this season uncovers the feelings we try so hard to suppress. It reminds us of how much we miss that loved one who is no longer here. We are reminded of the many memories that were once shared with those we cherished the most in life.
Just last year on Christmas Eve, I was sitting around with family and friends, laughing, eating, playing games and opening presents and my mind was elsewhere. With all that was going on around me, I couldn’t help but think about my mom. I started to realize my life was different now– new memories and traditions were forming. I realized and accepted that the holidays will never be the same again. Just this thought brought sadness but it also made me grateful. Grateful that I was surrounded with so much love and gratitude that I could smile despite all I’ve been through with grief.
So much has happened throughout this year and I’ve been taught so much about my life through this year’s experiences. One thing I’ve learned was to empty out my emotions. Empty them by pouring them out to an ear willing to listen. I’ve learned to do things that make me happy, to be around those who add to my peace and don’t take from it. Grief will forever come and go within me. However, the days that grief decides to pay me a visit? I will be sure to empty out all of my emotions– whether it’s telling someone how I’m feeling that day, praying, or even writing it out to you all. Whatever I decide to do, I want to feel empty in the best way possible. I’ve been told by my therapist that, metaphorically, I’m out of surgery and now recovering in ICU. Soon enough, I will be able to tell you how it feels to be in ICU.
I pray this holiday season you don’t feel stuck in your grief, but you try to learn how to enjoy every happy moment possible. It’s okay to smile and be happy. I also pray you will get to a point that you start feeling empty, where every emotion is released like never before.
Ashley (Healing Daughters)