What Is Grief?
The simplest definition of grief is a person’s response to loss.
Death is the most acceptable reason for grief, but death is not the source of all grief. Loss is the source of grief. And we must evolve our understanding of grief to courageously allow ourselves and others the grace and compassion needed to journey through its process and honor the many ways it shows up in our lives.
Release To Reimagine
Over the past two years, I grieved my thirties.
Let me explain. My dream for my life was to spend my thirties in the throes of motherhood. I was 22 when I married my favorite human. I figured we’d start having children 5-6 years into marriage, and by 35, I expected to have at least two children and be deep into the role of my dreams, mommy!
As much as I willed that to be my story, that is not how life unfolded.
Throughout my thirties, I reimagined and readjusted my dream to account for the possibility that my timetable may have been off while always keeping the dream of birthing children in my thirties alive. That all changed midway through my thirty-ninth year. Then, I had to accept a harsh truth; there was no more room for adjustments. I would not become a mother in my thirties. I had run out of time.
What do you do when you run out of time based on your timetable?
What happens when you have to accept that what you desperately want to happen will not happen in your time?
Give yourself the compassion you would offer someone else, and allow yourself to grieve.
It was emotionally taxing for me to release my dream as I envisioned. But letting it go was necessary to reimagine the possibilities for what was still ahead of me. The other option was allowing the pain to paralyze me, preventing me from being available for healing. I am grateful that I chose to release, even though it was tough. I have had a tremendous spiritual and emotional recovery over the past two years. That healing gave me a renewed sense of hope and an even greater trust in God’s plan for my life.
I need to note that I was not hopeless throughout my extended season of grief. I share this because there are times, particularly as Believers, when we need to give ourselves the space to grieve the disappointments that we face in life. Still, we deny ourselves that time because we fear we are no longer hopeful if we acknowledge the disappointment. Yet, if done authentically, grieving provides the pause and rest necessary to recognize the pain, heal, and rebound more hopeful than ever!
What Is Authentic Grief
We need to talk more about the importance of authenticity in grief. In many cases, the absence of authenticity is the culprit for grief turning toward hopelessness.
Authentic grief looks different for everyone. But the one characteristic woven into all authentic grief journeys is courage!
First is the courage to process emotions genuinely without suppressing or denying them. Genuinely processing emotions is the foundation of authentic grieving. Being honest about your feelings, even if your feelings are opposite of what is expected of you, is vital.
Remember, it’s impossible to receive healing if the pain of the loss is not acknowledged.
Second is the courage to be generous with your timeline toward recovery. We want to be “ok” so severely because if we are “ok,” it makes those closest to us feel better. Even with the best intentions, acting ok when you are not ok slows down your healing and denies yourself and others the ability to support you properly.
The final act of courage that I will share here is resisting the urge to isolate yourself. You will think it’s better to be alone. You may even believe that your emotions are a bother or burden to those around you. But that is not true; God created you to connect with others. God often shows us Himself through the love and support we receive from others. You may have to expand or change your circle, but isolation is not the answer. If you are on a grief journey, I encourage you to find supportive spaces where healing can happen for you within the community of others.
Hope For Grieving Daughters: An Invitation
Speaking of supportive spaces, I created the “Hope For Grieving Daughters” annual virtual event because it was the kind of event I needed. When my mother died more than eleven years ago, I needed a safe place to be where I could be loved, supported, and encouraged. A place where I did not have to feel guilt or shame because my grief journey was not neat, tidy, or predictable and had lasted years longer than people promised me it would when she first died.
God gave me the idea for this event while I was grieving my thirties, the journey I spoke of earlier. I followed through with it because I knew I was not the only woman battling not to defer her Hope when life didn’t turn out as she had expected.
I created this space for YOU if you are on the journey, no matter what your journey looks like or how long it’s been. Here is your heartfelt invitation to join us on Saturday, May 13th, at 9a. EST. You will find compassion and understanding, acknowledgment, and encouragement. We will hold you in prayer, and your heart will be ministered to. You will gain practical strategies to continue to recover your Hope, even after the experience is over. And, You will leave confident, maybe for the first time, that two things are true, you can grieve because of the pain you feel and the void your loss has left, AND you can have hope for the plans God has for you in your future.
This year, God has shown us His generosity through the dynamic women He has gifted us to facilitate discussion and share their hearts. We all have one objective: to breathe hope into your hearts lovingly.
I hope to see you, my Sister. You are welcome.
Reserve Your Seat Today!
Please reply to this message with any questions I can answer. Also, please share this with someone who would benefit from this time together.
As always, sending you so much love, courage and MORE Courage! .
Delanea D Davis