Wednesday, February 24, 2016

All the Feels

It seems that Wednesday is the day for all the feels in the Pretty Knitty Blog, at least lately. In light of everything going on in my extended family, I think I'll keep it going today. Having said that, if you are done with the feels, feel free to move on...but it's my party, and I'll cry if I want to, cry if I want to, cry if I want to...or maybe I will laugh inappropriately. Who can tell?

As I have blogged the feels of recently losing loved ones these past few weeks, I have often been reminded of some advice I dole out freely. I believe it to be true, and I am doing my best to apply it myself, but some days are harder than others. My favorite advice to give is this: There are no wrong feelings. You just feel what you feel. You cannot control what you will feel, or when you will feel it, so just let yourself feel it. It is ok to feel what you feel.

Happiness and joy are emotions that we are all encouraged to feel. Who doesn't love to be around someone who is genuinely joyful? I know I do! Even at a funeral, laughter often pops up as we remember loved ones and their silly habits, or the way we reacted to them. It often feels wrong to be happy in times of great loss, but those happy moments are what get us through. Even at this difficult time of loss for our family, I have encouraged family members and friends to remember the good, the joyful, the silly. We need to feel happy. We need to express joy through laughter and smiles, especially as we grieve lives ended before we are ready to say goodbye. It is ok to be happy.

Sadness is expected. My husband lost a sister and brother, and even though they were not close as adults, there is still a loss. His whole family has suffered this loss, and the family dynamic will forever be has to be. There are people missing, and when they are not here to "play their parts" in the drama of this family's life, everything changes. Sweetie's parents and my sister-in-law's adult children are devastated, as they should be, and we should all cry. There is no understanding, no making it right. It just happened. We need to feel sad, and we need to express that through tears and wailing. It is ok to be sad.

Then there is anger. I am angry at the criminal who ripped this family apart. I am angry at myself for not taking more time to get to know my brother- and sister-in-law better while they were alive. I am angry that I was powerless to stop what happened on February 5th. Finally, I am angry at God. I don't understand how he could let this happen. I know that God knew it was happening...and even though I don't understand why he let it happen, he did. Could he have stopped it? He could. But he didn't, and the truth is that I will probably never know why. That makes me angry, too. I want answers that I just cannot have. We need to feel angry. We need to express that by yelling and shaking our fists. It is ok to be angry.

But I have to be careful. We have to be careful when we grieve. If we wallow in the sadness, or if we let the anger control us, we can spiral into depression. If we ignore the sadness and anger, and we pretend to be happy, we can spiral into depression.* All the feels have to be worked through. All of them. There may be similar stages to our grief, but it will look different for each of us. What works for me, may not work for you. Still we have to work through all the feels. It helps when we do that together, when we laugh and cry and yell and shake our fists together. It helps to know that I am not alone in my grief. It helps to know that I can reach out with a text, or a helps when you reach out to me, too.

The biggest truth I have found in all of this is that I am not alone. Even if no one wants to laugh or cry or yell with me right now, I am not alone. Even in the tragedy, even in my sadness, anger and occasionally inappropriate laughter, I see that God is here, and that he is in control. I see him bringing together family and friends, growing their love for one another through shared grief. I see God working in my life, molding me...even in this, God is growing me and helping me to share the love in my heart with hurting people. Grief is not good, but when we grieve properly, we grow. Feel it. Grieve. It is ok to grieve, and there are no wrong feelings.

Eventually, this blog will get back to the happy-go-lucky knitting nonsense, I promise. Thank you for bearing with me through this time, and for expressing your comfort in hugs and blog comments. You know, blog comments are the same as virtual hugs in my book, so feel free to comment away!

Thanks for stopping by.

*Whatever your circumstances, whatever your grief, find someone to talk to. Let yourself feel all the feels, and talk to your doctor if you start to get stuck in that pit of despair. Grieving is a normal process we all go through at some point, you are not alone. Find your way back. Your life will never be the same, but you can learn to live again. 

1 comment:

  1. Wishing I could make it somehow all better. Grateful for what you wrote. *Hugs*.