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What Helped Me Find Grace in Grieving

Grief is an ever-evolving, all-consuming soul journey. After you lose someone, you are hit with an immediate wave of loss. Then, as days turn into weeks, it ebbs and flows a little more. You try and convince yourself that healing should be linear, but it never is. The grief comes to visit in more obvious moments like big milestones or anniversaries. But then it also comes barging in on a seemingly ordinary day, demanding your full attention.

For me, learning to let the grief in has been a daily challenge. There are days I would rather ignore it, but when I do, it always finds a way to sneak into my thoughts anyway. There are other days when I try and schedule it in so I acknowledge it on my own terms and dismiss it on my own timeline. But neither of these options has been a healing way to greet this season.

One day, I was looking forward to a full social schedule. But grief had other plans for me. I internally went back and forth for hours, trying to decide if I should just put on a brave face or if it would be OK to say “I just can’t today.” The implications of the latter scared me and filled me with shame. What if I let people down? Shouldn’t I be better by now? How long will I feel this way and live in the uncertainty of how grief will find me today?

I called my mom and I crumbled. I told her I just didn’t have it in me today. I started trying to justify why it was just too heavy today in hopes it sounded like a reasonable excuse for rescheduling on a friend. I started going over apologies in my head as I thought of the people I was potentially letting down. But right there, in that spiral, she said something that resonated with me so deeply it stopped me in my tracks.

“Honey, it’s OK. Some days, you just can’t ‘do normal’ when your heart is broken.”

Those words were exactly the grace I needed in that moment. Because with grief, there are days when you feel capable of a full day and you laugh loudly and run at a sprint. But, there are also some days when the grief wins out. There are some days where the immensity of what you’re feeling cannot be pushed to another day, cannot be sidelined until after your schedule permits it to return. Some days, you just don’t have the mental capacity to do “normal.” And that’s OK.

When we get to that vulnerable place where our reserves are depleted and our hearts are heavy, there is so much grace there. There’s grace when we reach out for help or vulnerably confide in a friend. There’s grace for canceled coffee dates and a change of plans. There’s grace in the supportive words of those we love, in the sustaining faithfulness of our Heavenly Father, and in the power of lifting up our cares in prayer to a God who fights for us when our hearts are worn down and weary.

Grief looks different from day to day. But there is an immense comfort to be found in the grace that meets us there every step of the way.

Remember that grief, pain and loss are all components of a very personal journey with rough terrain and bad days. I hope you allow yourself the space to feel your pain differently day to day and experience the loss fully in your own way. And, I hope you give yourself the same grace my mom gave to me.

If you’re feeling broken and ashamed, lost and weary, remind yourself:

“Some days, you just can’t do normal when your heart is broken.”

And, that’s more than OK.

Photo by Dan Russo on Unsplash