Celebrating Life

Don’t Allow Grief To Consume You

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The third anniversary of the physical passing of Prince is quickly approaching (April 21st).  I know that a lot of my Prince fam will have a hard time on  that day.  My heart goes out to the whole tribe, because it’s definitely still very unbelievable and hard to accept.  Prince was so many things to so many people.  Many of us feel as though parts of us left with him.

We All Deal With Emotions

These are feelings that we all have to deal with when we lose people that we love, admire, or respect.  While some people heal faster than others, it takes time for other humans to regroup and continue with life as usual.  I can certainly relate.  In my lifetime, I’ve lost my mother, grandparents, and several friends.  I’ve also grieved the loss of celebrities who meant a lot to me.  Their presence in my childhood home, via television or the stereo, made them like family to me.  As a lover of music, many songs that were performed by artists who have passed away are tied to memories of loved ones who are no longer physically with me.  That’s how life works.  In one way or another, everything is connected.

Remember The Good Times.  Don’t Dwell On The Loss

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Momentary episodes of melancholy or nostalgia are normal — I can handle that.  But, I’ve learned, over the years, that if I must stroll down memory lane, I should only visit the good times.  And, I should limit the time that I spend there.

This wasn’t an easy lesson to learn — it took years.  I had certain dates that were stamped on my brain, as though they were there to remind me to feel sad and depressed, at certain times of the year.  Now, why would I plan annual days to feel sad?  Not only is that ridiculous, but my loved ones would not want me to agonize.  They’d want me to live.

In the case of me, I tend to bounce back a little faster than most, but I definitely have my moments.  And, sometimes, those moments are really bad.

A New Plan

Every year since my mother passed away, I would dread January 16 (The day that her body left this planet).  I’d try to keep busy — still recognizing what that day represented for me.  Regardless of what I would do, at some part of the day, I would repeat the events of yesteryears, crying hysterically and hardly functioning.  I was fine on her birthday, because her birthdays were always happy times.  So, when that time of year would come around, I was reminded of good memories.  I still missed her, but birthdays were happier times to remember.  January 16th only reminded me of the worst day of my life. I’d rather not remember that.

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About ten years ago, I decided that enough was enough.  No longer would I consciously plan to grieve, simply because the calendar said that it was time to. Ten years ago, I stopped recognizing the day that I lost my mother.  It was too difficult, and I’m sure that I was probably quite unbearable for those around me.  I trained myself to not look for that day, to not discuss it, to not recognize it in anyway, because it wasn’t doing me any good. And it certainly was not doing the spirit of my mother any good.

As time progressed, it became easier and easier to do.  Eventually, I could notice January 16th without tying to to the worst moment of my life.  Now, I celebrate my mother on her birthday with laughter, joy, and smiles, just as I would if she was still here in the physical form.

It Works For Me

I am not suggesting that this method works for everyone — no one thing works for everyone.  But, ask yourself:  if you’re suddenly stricken with grief on a certain calendar day, who are you grieving: the physical form of your dearly departed or the part of you that is perpetually wounded? If you’re grieving for yourself, you’ve got to find something positive to do with that energy, before grief consumes you.  Remember, you are in control of your emotions.  This isn’t just a method that can be used for grieving the loss of a loved one, but also, any traumatic event that has happened in your life.  Yes, it will likely always be there, and you should not feel bad about experiencing said feelings. (It’s okay to not feel okay. –Ed) But, don’t let the calendar tell you which days you should grieve or deal with things that haunt you.  Let it happen organically, and deal with it happens.  Try not to spend too much time there — that’s not going to do you any good.  Keep living as your dearly departed would want.  Go on, and be great!

To My Prince Fam,

The 21st is coming.  Let’s not cry or relive 2016, just because the calendar says that we should.  Pull out those playlists, CD’s, and vinyl; blast his music, and party like it’s 1999!

 

“I don’t live in the past.  I don’t play my old records for that reason.  I make a statement, then I move on to the next.”

~Prince

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