I wanted to take a moment to talk about grief. Both to honour my own and to open up a space for others to experience and honour theirs.
In the last few years I've experienced a lot of obvious or "acceptable" grief; I lost both my parents to cancer, and one of my best friends to the weight of the world. So that's one of the reasons I wanted to talk about this today, and the other is that during this period of big grieving I had people sympathise with me by saying to me (when I would ask them how they were) "Yes, not great, but my problem isn't as big/painful as yours".
This made me sad because they were discounting their own totally valid pain, and because I was doing the same to myself both about the big "acceptable" grief as well as all the little ones that we don't talk about, that we tell ourselves 'don't really count because...'. In experiencing this big pain I realised, and then experienced, all those little pains that I never gave time to. And I want to say to myself and to anyone reading this, that all those little ones count too, they are valid and should be allowed a time to heal. All the heart breaks, the times we didn't achieve what we wanted to, didn't get invited to something, the time our pet died, the times our mum/dad/grandma didn't make it to something that really mattered to us, the times we put pressure on ourselves and then didn't live up to the expectations we set, the times we got lost and feared we'd never be found, all the times we felt we weren't enough, weren't ok... Every loss creates grief. And every grief no matter how big or small deserves our love and attention.
Sometimes all we need to do is notice that feeling; sick, angry, anxious, exhausted, numb. Sometimes it helps to write about it. Sometimes we need to cry, move, be held, be alone, or just sleep.
So I wanted to say it's ok. All of it.
And that if you're finding it hard, please tell somebody. Even if it scares you. Even if you think they won't understand. Because often people will surprise you, and the weight that lifts when you get that thought or feeling outside of your body is huge.
If you really don't feel like you have anyone you can reach out to please send me a message. Or ring Lifeline, Beyond Blue, Reach Out, or Qlife.
You matter, and people do care.
Yours with an open heart,