When I started this journey I thought it was really important to never let myself feel any one feeling too hard for too long. When I'm sad, don't wallow in it. When I'm mad, swallow it down. I wouldn't want anyone to think I was struggling "too much." I really had so many preconceived notions about how you were "supposed" to grief. Even my doctor cautioned me to "make sure I properly grieved before trying to conceive again." (Whatever that means). So I took those words to heart. Perfectionist that I am, I wanted to "grieve right."
Part of that meant focussing on the good stuff instead of the sad stuff. I practiced hard at recognizing the good days and being really present in them. Worrying less about when the next sad day would be and instead, cherish that good. I was getting pretty good at it. One good day turned into two turned into four. Until I had eventually strung probably my first solid "good week" together. I was getting the hang of this grieving thing.
Then it came yesterday. The first sad day in a while. And all of my "training" went out the window. I soaked in the sadness. Let myself rage on the inside and then on the outside to my "secret keepers." The people I know I can say horrible things to and they'll keep it safe. Without judgement. I cried. I even cried in places I shouldn't. I really grieved.
And then I beat myself up about it. I punished myself for being the teacher who brings her "baggage" to work. I replayed conversations and chastised myself for how I should have handled it better.
Then I heard the voices of friends telling me I need to give myself a break. To remember it's only been 5 months and of course it's still going to hurt.
I thought about something I read not too long ago: "Sometimes you just have to let sadness or anger or frustration into your present to eventually put it in your past" (Trista Sutter, Happily Ever After).
There is no right way to grieve. For me, there is only my way. And I'm figuring it out. I am thankful for the good days. And I sob my way through the bad ones. I celebrate his life. And I mourn his loss.
Any time I feel anything about him, his life, his loss, I'm letting him into my heart a little bit more. I can't be too hard on myself. I can only do what I can do. And I truly believe you really can't help the way you feel.
But at the end of the day, no matter what feelings I'm letting into my life, he's always right there, watching over me like the sweet little angel he is.