I had the unfortunate displeasure of going through two fairly significant losses at the beginning of the year. The first loss I experienced was the loss of my grandmother (Nanny) and the second loss was the ending of a five-year romantic relationship. Because of the proximity of these two losses, I was, to be honest, a blubbering train wreck most days of the week. On one hand there was someone who I wanted to reach out to so badly but their voice was no longer present, and the other, I knew I could reach out but in the end, that would cause even more heartbreak. I felt silenced. I felt lonely. I felt angry. I felt lost.
Through my own grieving process I discovered that sitting with the silence, the loneliness, and the anger, left a very miserable, self-loathing person—a “royal Grinch”, I believe was the endearing term I received. As such, I knew I needed to be doing rather than being done to. I began trying to label what it was that I was feeling and more importantly what it was I was grieving: the loss of the glue that held my family together, the loss of my guardian, the loss of kindness, the loss of opportunity to build memories, the loss of a dream, the loss of future plans, the loss of a gentle touch, the loss of a cheerleader, the loss of love, the loss of someone to mindlessly watch Netflix with, the loss of someone to laugh with until I was a blubbering happy mess, the loss of the gentle reminder that I am enough. My ah-ha moment came when I was able to identify a similar grievance; the loss of a relationship(s)- a relationship(s) that taught me many lessons along the way, lessons that built me up, helped me grow, and provided meaning to/for me in both small and monumental ways. This was how/what I wanted to remember.
Finding meaning through loss or grief
For me, any opportunity to think about my feelings and to put pen on paper is an opportunity made from sunshine and rainbows. So, my heart was already a little happier as I began searching for the lessons that could provide meaning to the loss.
As you start your own search you may find the eloquent words to describe the lessons with ease, as I was able to with my Nanny:
… I was taught time and time again that the most important things I could do as a friend, sister, and as a woman, was to listen to, to be supportive of, to be there for, and to be with, people. And as the years passed, perhaps the most notable lesson of all was: when all else fails, it is never too early or too late for a glass of wine and a moment of reflection.
Or, as with my romantic relationship, you may hit many a roadblock. Through the tears from the recounting of the memories, I ended his exploration with:
… He also taught me that a grown adult could still act as a child. (As you can see through my witty bitterness, lessons from this relationship are still a work in progress).
Alas, as I check-out of Heartbreak Hotel, it is not farewell, it is see you again while I, and you, can rest assured a room will be ready if needing and when ready, to grieve. Don’t shy away from finding meaning, connecting with lessons from relationships, or grieving, because it is an incredibly unique, moving, blubbering inducing journey worth talking about.