“I think so many times people who have never walked this grief journey, particularly the one of losing a parent young, find it hard to understand it.
I get it. But that doesn’t mean because you don’t understand it you are excused from making comments about how I should be dealing with my grief. It doesn’t allow you to make comments about how I’m ‘too much’ into this writing thing. Or how I miss my mom just a little ‘too much.’ Or how I let this grief take away my joy ‘too much.’
Let’s set the record straight. I dare say that if I asked you if you have a really close relationship with your mom, to go an entire day without talking to her.
Don’t pick up the phone to call her, or if you do, imagine her never answering again. Don’t talk about her, don’t say her name and others will do the same thing when they are around you as if she has just disappeared.
Don’t talk to your kids about grandma. Don’t plan any holidays at her house or invite her to any birthday parties and definitely don’t try and text her when something exciting happens in your day.
Don’t rush to her side when you’ve had a bad day or even a day that was filled with horrible news and you just need your mom and her hug, but imagine just not ever getting that hug again.
Then imagine someone coming along that can still pick up the phone to call their mom or go out to lunch with her telling you how you are just ‘too much’ into grief, missing your mom just a little ‘too much.’ I mean, it’s been seven years, you should be used to it by now.
Imagine them telling you that you are missing out on so much joy because you are missing your mom ‘too much.’
If you still have your mom, you probably said a few times while reading this, ‘I can’t even imagine, I don’t want to imagine’ and you’d be right, you can’t and I don’t expect you to.
But what I do expect is for you to stop telling me my grief is ‘too much’ when you can’t even begin to imagine it.
My life is filled with joy, honestly it’s probably filled with more joy than most because I’ve seen the trenches of grief. But you see, the world gets confused; they think if you grieve you can’t have joy and happiness and this beautiful life all at the same time.
The world has it wrong. Because I know the feeling of not having an answer on the other end of the phone and knowing I never will again. I see the beauty in everything this world has to offer. I see the beauty in the little things most take for granted.
So stop telling me my grief is too much or not enough. Stop telling me how to navigate something you can’t understand.
Because I’ve learned if my grief is too much for you, it’s okay because maybe it’s just what the world needs more of and maybe too much is actually just enough.”
This story was written by Nikki Pennington of Grief To Hope with Nikki Pennington. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter. Subscribe to our free email newsletter, Living Better—your ultimate guide for actionable insights, evidence backed advice, and captivating personal stories, propelling you forward to living a more fulfilling life.
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