On August 29, 2017, while celebrating with family my father’s 75th birthday, my son, unbeknownst to him, was being lured into a remote area in the farthest suburb of Chicago and shot to death. He wasn’t in a gang, he didn’t know his victims. He was simply targeted, set up and killed. He was 3 months shy of graduating with his BA in Audio Engineering and Recording. Unfortunately, I wasn’t new to this type of traumatic loss. 20 years earlier, I loss a brother, the same way. Talk about a losses of great magnitude.
I knew immediately that I needed to get into grief counseling before I lost my mind and sense of being. I questioned myself constantly, as to why I wasn’t grieving the way I was “accustomed” to seeing those on television grieve. Once I started grief counseling I learned everyone grieves differently; some quietly, some become despondent, many don’t even know how, so for me, I wanted to learn how to grieve healthy.
In my grieving and healing process, I’ve learned I grieve out loud, and am very transparent with my feelings. I like to remind others that though I am grieving and healing from a traumatic loss, death is not the only trigger of grief. Grief can occur after any kind of loss — from a job, foreclosure, divorce, a relationship or even from bad decisions.
As a society, we unfortunately, have a tendency to make everyone in our lives a priority and we suppress our feelings when doing so. This causes us to be labeled “strong”, and we have unconsciously learned to “just get over” our own personal issues. We do not take the time and allow ourselves to grief whatever unfortunate “situation” we may have experienced. I urge you start including some non-negotiables in your life, one being, allowing yourself to recover from a life “loss”, by truly feeling the pain, anger, and sadness inside you.
There are many different forms of mental illness that most of us don’t feel like we identify with. However, at some point in our lives due to a “loss”, we may have experienced a bout of depression, anxiety, change in personal habits and/or social withdrawal and we suffer silently. Unknowingly, if you don’t allow yourself to grieve and then heal, you will have some negative repercussions in how you handle other aspects of your lives.
If you really want to thrive in your job, your business, with your family and in your life, take time for you. I encourage you to make an appointment to talk with a counselor, and doing so doesn’t mean it is a sign of weakness. Its a part of taking charge of your well-being and doing what you need to do to stay healthy: mentally, physical, emotionally and even spiritually.
Until next time, stay blessed and healthy healing,