Like I said in my last blog, I’m going to spend some time talking about grief and loss. Not directly related to a death per se, but more related to life transitions and people moving on in life. One aspect of grief is to honor your feelings. This is something I’m still learning to do.
Sometimes I think reading a blog and hearing other people’s experience validates your feelings. If you’re struggling to accept a loss and transition, it’s normal… it’s part of life. So I want to share with you how I reacted when a friend recently told me he was moving away.
Here is an example of how I dealt with the feelings. I don’t necessarily think it was the best way but it was important to me to honor my feelings in the moment. I’m learning that even though I’m not an emotional personal, my husband told me I need to cry more and not hold it in.
How I Handled the News
We went to dinner with my good friend and renter. A few minutes into dinner he laughed and said, “If you wondered why I called us all together, I wanted to let you know I’m moving to Canada.” I thought he was joking and laughed along with him. Then he stopped laughing. I realized he was serious and I sat there in shock. I was quiet for quite a while, listening to them talk about his plans like it was no big deal.
My old self would have just pretended I was okay and put on a cheery face. This time, I thought about it for a few minutes and realized that I couldn’t pretend this time. I was sad and couldn’t hide it. I said, “I think I’m going to take an Uber home. I just need to be by myself right now.” This decision was about honoring what I needed in the moment. I gave my friend a hug and the other people at dinner stayed and I wished them well. I went home for some alone time to process what I was just told.
Once I got home, I put on some mellow music, went into my favorite part of the house and just started to cry. I didn’t even understand why I was crying… I just knew that I was feeling so many emotions and I had to let them out. A short while later my husband and daughter got home. I could tell they were concerned about me, but could also sense that they didn’t quite “get” why I was so upset. “That’s okay…” I thought to myself… “They don’t have to understand.”
The reason I’m sharing this story is to tell you that I didn’t know if I was doing the “right” thing or not. But in that moment, “right” and “wrong” didn’t matter.
In that moment I needed to listen to my intuition and take care of myself, and self-care is about listening to what you truly need, not about judging if it’s right or wrong.
The next morning, after looking back I’m happy that I listened to my intuition and honored my process, rather than stifling it to put on a cheery face. Research shows that there is a strong correlation between stifled emotions and illness. One of the things I teach my clients is to develop their emotional intelligence.
I’d love to hear your stories of how you’ve coped with loss, such as people moving. Comment below or email me and let me know your story.