New Beginnings

“Grief is messy and difficult and you can never pack it away, close the lid, tie a bow on it and put it on the shelf in the closet.”

I looked to see the last post and was surprised to see it was last November. It was about grief. I’m still writing about grief. It’s been a year of grieving. But, it’s been a year of growing and stretching and I’m ready to start writing again.

There’s a lot of changes happening in my life right now. I know because I caused them. I intentionally created these changes. First, I resigned my job at the hospital and am going back to full-time private practice, but this time in my own practice called Rise Up Counseling. Second, I was accepted into a doctoral program. Both of these things begin officially tomorrow. Tomorrow my practice opens and my first doctoral class begins. There was a lot of preparation that went into facilitating these changes. A lot of prayer, a lot of work. So last night, as I was finishing decorating my new office, I noticed that I wasn’t feeling as excited as I thought I would. I mean, it’s my own practice for goodness sake. I felt like I should be bursting with pride and happiness, and yet I was just feeling sort of meh about the whole thing.

This morning I woke up still feeling meh. I came outside with the dog and sat on my deck and started talking to God about it. I’ve been really busy the last few weeks, and it was time to sit quietly with no distractions. Why aren’t I more excited? Why am I realizing two of my biggest dreams and not feeling much at all? As I sat and contemplated, it came to me as clear as day. I’m sad. Grief has returned and overshadowed the joy of my accomplishments.

My mom would be so proud of me. She was always my biggest cheerleader. I’m so very sad that I can’t share any of this with her. It’s been a year and a half since she died. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of her. But right now, with these big things happening, I miss her so very much. So I talked to her this morning on my deck. I shared with her all the things I would if she were here. I told her how much her encouragement and support contributed to what I’m doing. That all the love she and dad poured into are what makes me believe I can do any of this. And you know what? I didn’t feel any better. (Sorry, I know you were expecting a different answer.)

So I called my big sister. And I told her how I was feeling. And she told me that she misses mom too. And that she understands why I’m sad. And that she is so very proud of me and that mom and dad would be proud of me. And then she asked questions and let me tell her about my new adventures. And encouraged me and supported me. And you know what? Then I did feel better. Not because of the praise and encouragement, although that was very nice, but because someone else misses my mom like I miss my mom. She understood in a way that was meaningful to my heart.

Grief sucks guys. Grief is messy and difficult and you can never pack it away, close the lid, tie a bow on it and put it on the shelf in the closet. It creeps out like a vine. Winding it’s fingers into your everyday life in ways you wouldn’t expect. Like suffocating the happiness from reaching goals you’ve dreamed of. It gets longer between times of stepping in and interrupting your life, but you never know when it’s going to show up and make you feel unsettled or sad or tired or angry.

If you are experiencing grief, I’m sorry. My heart feels for you. But I know you understand what I’m writing about. Even though our grief is different, it’s also very much the same. Leave me a comment about your grief and it’s impromtu surprise visits to you.

Be kind, be grateful, be courageous,

Jules

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