Monday Meditation: Fall Now, Stand Later

“If you fell down yesterday, Stand up today.”

-H.G. Wells

One of the most significant misunderstandings concerning grief is the belief that grief is a one-and-done experience: loss happens, you get sad, you gradually become happier, and then, one day, grief is gone for good. The belief is helpful to grief supporters, who sometimes act as though our grief is a drag. The sooner we get over our grief, the faster they can move out of support mode.

Consequently, when grievers go from feeling okay to good and then experience a sudden bad day, it becomes a massive cause for concern: something must be wrong because the grief should be over by now. This belief is unrealistic, and the pressure such a view puts on grievers is unhealthy and dangerous.

The bottom line is that some days and weeks can be good or even great. Then a day or two or five are horrible…and that is the nature of grief.

On the days we fall, we need to acknowledge the fall and just stay down. Tomorrow is a new day, and we can try again. Maybe we’ll fall again, but maybe we won’t. Perhaps we are pushing ourselves too much, missing out on things we are allowed to enjoy, being too hard on ourselves, or perhaps absorbing awful advice from outsiders and needing to connect with our new priorities. Whatever the day brings, we need to accept what it has to offer, accept whatever message grief is telling us.

Some days are diamonds, and some days are dog shit. But they’re all a part of our grief and significant for our transition into post-loss life. Not only that, but living in grief is a constant dance forward and backward, a dance to which we must adjust and readjust (when the music changes, as it does).

So, if you need to fall, fall.

Tomorrow is another day.

Regardless of how many years down the grief journey we have traveled, all we can do is take post-loss life one day at a time.

Published by ancarroll

Alexandra N. Carroll is an author, grief advocate, crafter, mother, and partner. She writes on grief and self-care from her home in Vermont. Her forthcoming book concerns how to untangle life-after-loss through the creation of a strong self-care plan.

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