Today is a day of great grief for many Americans. All day there have been posts and cries about what could have been or should have been or might have been. There have been many discussions of “What’s next?”. There have also been celebrations. There have been judgments. And there have been harsh words of thoughts on how and why a person is allowed to grieve. The thing is as humans we have the right to grieve whatever we want, however we want. All too often we are told to how to feel, if we are even allowed to feel, when to feel, and for how long this feeling is allowed to last for grieving. We are told how to act or not act, what behaviors are “normal”, and what behaviors are not socially acceptable after a certain time passing.
Did you know that if you are scared, you are allowed to feel scared until you are safe again?
Did you know that if you are worried, you are allowed to feel worried until you get a sign things are ok?
Did you know that if you are sad, you are allowed to feel sad as long as you need to feel sad?
You get to feel your emotions and display them however you want. You can post on Facebook, you can stay in bed all day, you can have a drink, you can eat, you can avoid eating, you can cry, you can laugh, you can talk, you can stay quiet, or you can do all of those. You emotions are yours and you are allowed to feel and display them anyway you want.
This is not for a specific event or day but in all times. Many women that have experienced a miscarriage are often expected to “get over it” and move on. Those women have the same thoughts of what could have been, or should have been, or might have been. They have the same lost dreams on what their child would be like and if maybe one day, their child would have had a chance to be the President of the United States. To those mothers and fathers- you are allowed to grieve in any way that helps for as long as you need.
There are women battling infertility that are also expected not to grieve. As each monthly cycle comes and goes it is yet again another lost dream of what could have been, or should have been, or might have been. It was their chance at a future that now seems too far away. To those mothers and fathers, you are allowed and encouraged to grieve in any way that helps you get through the day, the week, the month, however long you need.
If you see someone grieving, for any reason, give them acceptance and love. Ask if you can do anything to help. Meet them with an open mind not judgment. Instead of being negative, challenge yourself to be positive and recognize that you likely do not know the entire situation. Know that at some point you will also be grieving something or someone and when that times comes you will need the space to do it as you see fit.
To all the people grieving today, if possible, try to find yourself surrounded by love and positive relationships and know that you are not alone. Grieving is a healthy way to deal with emotions, stress and events that you cannot control. There is no right or wrong way to grieve so make it your own in an attempt to heal.