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Layers of Grief

I’ve always been bad at “endings.” I didn’t realize it until my sister was dying. I noticed that I am an avoider. I especially avoided grieving. Grief is so messy, and I didn’t have the tools to confront the mess, nor did I want to feel those big, bad emotions. At the time of my sister’s death, I noticed all the other losses, too. Friendships, jobs, relationships, expectations of how I wanted something or someone to be or MYSELF to be– all of the “bad” endings and unprocessed grief came at me with a vengeance.  I couldn’t avoid it anymore. It was visceral.

The grief I was experiencing was enormous and I wondered if I was mourning these other endings too. I was confident that I was. I decided to pull back, to spend a lot of time alone, to conserve my energy, to be careful about how and with whom I spent my time, to allow myself all the time and space I needed to grieve, to reflect, and to decide, maybe for the first time, how I wanted to move forward in life - who I wanted to be, what I wanted to do, what needed closure and what needed resolution in my life. I began to evaluate where I needed healing, which relationships needed to be nurtured and which ones I needed to let go.The relationship with myself came first. I needed to close the open chapters of my life and heal from within. I knew that I could not do it alone. 

I sought out counseling for support. It was time for me to stop hiding and start doing. I have two nephews who hold me accountable. I needed to be a good example. I needed to help guide them into being compassionate, productive adults. I promised my sister I would take care of them. But I also need to be a helpful daughter. A compassionate friend. An inspiring teacher. A supportive human being. None of this could happen until I ended the negative relationship with myself.  It's a BIG ending. The ending of all endings. And while the process of healing endures and things still get messy at times, I realized that some endings are truly just inspired beginnings.  And for me, that shift in perspective is changing the way I feel about endings.

Sometimes we just need to meet some people who can relate to us, some guided support to help us navigate our blind spots and a space to let it all out. If you are experiencing loss, if you are struggling to just show up, if you are wondering why you’re struggling, please join us for a 6-week group to find a community of others who understand and support that can help you heal from within. 

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