Yesterday was the one year anniversary of my brother-in-law Randy’s death. It was not an easy day, anniversaries of this nature are always emotional. But it was not a horrible day, either. Dale and I both posted on Facebook and received a great deal of love and support from our friends there. There were phone calls with family members that included lots of reminiscing and sharing stories. There was a general feeling that Randy was among us all day long and I found that reassuring and comforting.
Grief is work, friends. It’s exhausting and at times it’s overwhelming. It’s also necessary. As I’ve learned (sometimes the hard way) pain, much like truth, will out. You can ignore it or stuff it back down. You can eat too much or drink too much. You can take your pain and use it to lash out at others. Or . . . you can acknowledge it, take the time you need to feel it, and release it. Sure, it will come back. But when it does you will be ready and you’ll go through the process of accepting and releasing your feelings. Again and again and again.
To quote my own social media post, grief is the price we pay for loving deeply. It’s heartbreaking and terrible. It’s also a blessing and an honor.