Grief Probate Journey: National Grief Awareness Week
This week is National Grief Awareness Week.
Grief, and Awareness of it are something my sister and I feel so passionate about.
We are aware that grief is quite a taboo subject, and this is something that my sister and I are trying to do, be a part of the change that is encouraging people to talk about Grief.
There are many levels to grief, and it is unique in every situation. As unique as a fingerprint. There is no time frame for this process, it is a journey. This reminds us of a quote we used for a topic: Grief is not Linear.
Images found on google
Grief isn’t necessarily only for the loss of life, there are many factors such as loss of a:
And even the worldwide pandemic we are living through has brought about so many abrupt changes one of those being: Loss of the life we once knew before the pandemic. This alone is a tough one as a big part of this process involves rebuilding yourself whilst the world still isn’t quite back to normal. (We have a topic on: Living Through Covid Times One Year Later: Self Care Ideas)
Since our Dad sadly passed away in March 2017, we struggle a lot with words and it’s association, as an example, we say passed away because using the term which is most common (di..) we find it hard to do.
This for example isn’t something new, as when our Dad was alive, he wanted to talk to us about his will, and I more than my sister was very resistant to talk to him about it. One of the things we would say was, “why do we need to talk about this now Dad”. Our Dad knew why he was trying to do this, he was trying to make us aware and prepare us for the reality of life, but we did not want to face that reality at that time.
In hindsight knowing what we know now, and everything we’ve experienced, we most definitely would have had that conversation, as difficult as it felt it would be, we would have understood the need to have that conversation whilst our Dad was still with us.
We have learned so much about grief since we have started our blog in June 2019. We are learning every day.
Grief is the loss of someone or something, but within that grief, there are many factors that contribute to your grief. As an example, if it is about the loss of a loved one, the nature of the circumstances in which they passed away can play a big part in the way in which it affects you.
Another factor is if things are in place and in order. As an example:
Is there a will?
Is it signed? Is it constructed correctly?
Are matters legally in place? (As an example, financial plans for a funeral)
If not, this then leads into the legal aspect when someone passes away. All of these things can be daunting and overwhelming.
Whilst trying to process the loss of a loved one, you are then potentially dealing with legal matters that you do not understand and were not prepared for. This is why my sister and I would encourage talking to your loved ones in the here and now to find out their wishes, but we do appreciate this can be far easier said than done.
When starting our blog, one of the main reasons we did this was to try and help to give the choice to have more awareness of the things that people may not know needs to be managed when someone passes away.
We wanted to share our experience in the hope of helping others. We did not really know how things would go once we published our first topic, but the main thing we did know is we could not go through all of this without sharing and trying to help make a difference.
Most recently, we are feeling so humbled with the journey the blog is on, considering we are speaking about grief, it is well received, and viewed in many countries. Within our social media platforms, people feel comfortable enough to share their stories with us, this is both privately and openly. We have found friends through the sharing of experiences. We treasure this and feel honored the platform we have created has made this possible.
We have discovered there is a community of people going through their journeys of grief who also share their stories. And within that community we support and uplift one another. These are few of the many great people: Color of Grief, The Grief Gang Podcast, Thinking Out Loud Pod, Me, Mel, drmekel Memor.ies4us, fromgrieftothegrind, griefandgrits, thegravewoman.
My sister and I feel that combined within this community we are a part of Change; we are a part of trying to help to normalize grief and speaking about it, and that feels pretty good.
We are always thankful when we make new connections and can share collectively how we are all trying to get grief conversations going and trying to help break down the grief taboo.
What’s also encouraging is we are seeing more that there are many safe spaces to share and speak about your grief, whether openly in a group, or privately.
As we said we are aware that grief is an individual journey that will affect everyone differently. The same as my sister and I, it has affected us as individuals, and our experiences are not the same, but if you feel able to speak openly about it to someone this is something that we would also encourage.
Acknowledging and speaking about your feelings with someone that you feel comfortable with can make a significant difference in the healing process of grief.
What we find encouraging is there are increased campaigns that are in support of talking about these matters no matter your age. We all suffer the effects of losses even at a young age. We have provided some links that we find useful and beneficial resources:
Our mental state of mind is so important at the best of times, but even more so with the trying times we are living through due to the current worldwide pandemic.
Being kind to ourselves, and taking care of ourselves is especially important, whether it be:
Taking time out
Going for a walk
Spending time with friends and family
Finding a new hobby or picking one back up
Allowing yourself to feel your feelings
Reaching out to someone when it feels right (whether professional or a friend, family, colleague)
My sister and I are no experts, and never profess to be. We can only speak from a place of our own feelings, truth and understanding of how much grief can affect our lives.
We know that becoming part of the grief community and just in doing this blog it is something that can be helpful, and we feel definitely helps us to bring awareness to some of the unknowns and the daily challenges and learning along the grief journey.
We are honoured to have had this opportunity to write this blog post for Community Bridges, in conjunction with National Grief Awareness Week.
Tara and Tanya
© Copyright 2019 Grief Probate Journey
Illustration by Daisy Rowe