Grief is one of the most complex experiences we’ll ever go through. And even more than its complexity is its silence. As common as grief is, it’s something that people just don’t talk about. Maybe they don’t know what to say or just don’t know how to put words to all the emotions they’re feeling. Whatever the reason, talking about loss makes us uncomfortable. But what’s even more uncomfortable? Not talking about it at all, which is why I’m so impressed with Prince Harry for opening up on dealing with grief following his mother’s death.
In a candid with The Telegraph, he talked about what led him to seek counseling four years ago, after years of what he called “total chaos” in his life without his mother…
I can safely say that losing my mum at the age of 12 and therefore shutting down all of my emotions for the last 20 years has had a quite serious effect on not only my personal life but also my work as well…My way of dealing with it was sticking my head in the sand. Refusing to ever think about my mum because why would that help? It’s only going to make you sad. It’s not going to bring her back…Then I started to have a few conversations and then, all of a sudden, all of this grief that I’d never processed came to the forefront. I was like, ‘there’s actually a lot of stuff here I need to deal with’…
His words are incredibly honest and refreshing. All too often, we’re so quick to shove our emotions so far down that they disappear for awhile. But when they resurface — and, make no mistake, they always resurface — they will demand attention whether you’re ready or not. Trust me, one day, those feeling will come back like a huge avalanche and pummel you. We can’t escape them. They’re definitely NOT going to go quietly.
My mom has always been a big fan of feeling your feelings — that no feeling is right or wrong when it comes to grief. It’s important to feel those feelings, reflect on them and not judge them. You owe that yourself. You deserve to be gentle with yourself.
If you’re struggling right now, please know that I’m with you, friends. I’m here and I hope you’re taking care of yourself. You’re important. And so is your grief. xoxo
[Photo via We Heart It]