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Allow yourself the gift of feeling your emotions
Q: My Nanny (grandmother) died over three years ago but this is the year that her death has really hit me. Lately I've been realizing how little time I took to actually get to know her and I regret not knowing her better. Also my family keeps commenting on how my cross stitching is amazing just like my Nanny's was. It's little comments like that that seem to make me all emotional and I cry myself to sleep sometimes thinking of her. How would you suggest I deal with it?
A: I can totally relate. When my Dad died I was devastated, however, the reality of him not being around didn't sink in right away. I found year five of my Dad’s death to be very hard.
Grief is a journey and it is not the same journey for everyone. Each day, each year brings about different emotions.
Sometimes I’ll remember something about my Dad - a place we visited or a story he told - that will bring a smile to my face. And sometimes that same memory will bring an overwhelming feeling of sadness - it depends on the day.
I know from experience that loosing someone that we love brings about grief that seems like a constant roller coaster ride - one that we don't want to be on.
I have to admit that when my Dad first died I didn't fully allow myself to feel all of my emotions. I pushed them below the surface.
I wasn't really sure how to be or feel. I was used to smiling and helping others, but this time I was the one who needed help. I found it really hard to reach out for that help and support. I felt a bit embarrassed, like I should know how to deal with the circumstance. I was afraid to surrender, to allow myself to fully feel. However, once I made the decision to ‘just do it’, I began to experience relief.
Allowing yourself the gift of truly feeling your emotions is so important. If you find yourself crying yourself to sleep - it's okay – allow it to happen. The more you try to hold your feelings in or make yourself wrong for feeling them, the harder the journey becomes. For me, talking to someone about how I feel, journaling, writing songs, going for walks, crying, and baking - are all ways that help me to feel and release my emotions.
Find healthy ways that work for you to feel, to express and to release your emotions. In doing so you will create healing for yourself.
I hear from so many people that they wish they had done things differently. It is too easy to look back and say 'should have, would have, could have.' I believe it is important to focus on the great memories that you did create with your Nanny, instead of the ones you feel you didn't.
We can't change the past, but we can learn from it so that in the future we can choose to make different choices.
Knowing that you have the gift of cross-stitching that your Nanny also possessed is special. You are helping keep the memory of your Nanny alive, not only for you, but for your family!
It is sad when our loved ones die, but remembering the gifts we received because they were part of our lives, lightens the sadness. A beautiful life was lived and you are carrying on her memories.
‘To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.’ Thomas Campbell
Until Next Time...
This has been ‘my voice’ but this is your life, this is ‘your choice’
P.S. If you are faced with a circumstance where you need help, one of the best UPower choices you can make is to Reach Out to your parents/adults, teachers, principals, counsellors, friends or Kids Help Phone to get the support you deserve.
Keep reaching out until someone listens.
This is Sara Westbrookâ€™s â€œMy Voice Your Choiceâ€ column - a Q&A for youth on life issues. Sara answers Q's from youth in a way that promotes life tools and that encourages you to make responsible choices, giving you the power to create an extraordinary life. Learn more about Sara on her website.
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