It is a radical thought in our culture sometimes for one to consider that peace can happen within grieving. But, it’s true and this is why I think so....
We all remember the tragic death of my father, and if I am being completely honest (because that is who I am…to a fault), I am still sometimes, very shaken and questioning a lot. But this is not about that. We all remember it. We remember the posts just trying to process everything I was thinking and feeling. I don’t do death very well in any setting, matter of fact, I don’t think anyone does, but this….this rocked me to my core and I believe it was the catalyst for my employer to make me an easy choice when downsizing was occurring because friends, again with honesty, I could not pull myself together. But, I do think I wasn’t allowed to grieve properly in order to allow me to do it. We can talk about why I think that and what finally got me out of my rut later.
Today, I am bringing back what I brought up on my life update post, here and we are going to praise through this grief. I left you, my friends, briefly mentioning something that happened to me to give me peace through grieving my grandpa. He wasn’t just a grandpa you go and visit every once in a while. He was MY grandpa who taught me how to ride a bike, rake leaves, plant a garden, love hard and give grace where grace was due. He taught me about being a good steward, loving Jesus and being a good human. This man opened his home to a single mom of his grand babies after his son (my dad who died) took off and was living the high (literally) life without us. This man was more than my grandpa, he was my everything.
Life happened in 2015 and we found ourselves apart, however, there was not a day that I didn’t pray for him and love on him as much as I could. After losing his battle at the ripe age of 93 (can I get an AMEN?), I cried a lot. His funeral, the process, was all an out of body experience. He was a WW2 vet and the ceremony was nothing I had been to, let alone had to experience on a deep and personal level. I found myself in a whole and I would try and make it to work and couldn’t get out of bed. I continued to pray every day that our family would have peace and we would be covered with God’s love to get us through this. Little did I know, I was going to be given the biggest peace of all.
On July 11th when I laid my head down, I was gifted a dream that has my aunt, whom I love dearly and myself walking up to this house with stairs. We were talking about how we could get up them ( I am not sure where they headed to) and all of the sudden, my grandpa reached out his hand and said “take my hand, it’s ok, I’ll take you, we’re all going to be ok, you’re going to be ok.” I awoke which seemed shortly there after and I had a smile on my face and tears of joy on my face. I was at peace. You can call it God, or whatever you believe in but I believe that my prayers were answered in the way that God knew how this gift could help. He knew that this grief was going to be so much more to bear on top of what had happened with my dad, that I needed this. I am choosing to thank God and be at peace.
Friends, I am here to tell you though I have learned something. Are you listening? YOU DON’T NEED A DREAM LIKE THIS TO HAVE PEACE! Do you hear me? This is not about this dream. This is about praying for peace and comfort. This is about talking to whoever you thing is in the heavens or wherever you think they are to give you peace and calm your heart. Since this has transpired and I have continued everyday to pray for peace, guess what? Other things are becoming more peaceful and I am actively working through my dads’ death to find the peace I know how to find from it. Peace can be found and if we all can just get on the same page and understand that some day, you will see whoever you love again, that hope gives peace. I didn’t NEED this dream, I was gifted it. But you want to know what greater gift he gave me? The wonderful co-worker who was praying for me and told me that she was. I just want you to know that if you are struggling to find peace with death, mental illness, or any other loss, I am praying for your peace, even if you don’t want it because I believe that the more people who are thinking of you and loving on you, the easier it is to process.
Beyond all of this, I want to leave you with this last little bit called environment. I had a terrible environment when my dad died. I had low self-esteem, I hated where I worked, hated even getting out of bed every day. Life for me was pretty terrible. When he died, it spun me out of control. I lost all hope and I lost what shred of dignity I had left and it wasn’t until I was forced to move on from that job that I started to repair who I was. Now, fast forward when my grandpa died. My self-esteem is drastically improved, my job and my team kick butt and I LOVE MY WORK FAMILY, I get out of bed really well for the large majority of the days and guess what? My panic attacks are gone. Can you see how differently I would naturally process their deaths anyway?
Now this is just a bunch of ramble and me trying to think my thoughts out of paper but what I am saying to you is this: Perspective is everything. How you are living and caring for your mental health and well being is everything. You taking care of you, is EVERYTHING. Life happens whether we are asking it to be positive or negative and when life happens, it is all about how you handle it. Friends, be kind to yourself. Love hard, all the time.