Charlie Brown said it in 1952 and didn’t stop saying it. It was his favourite way of expressing feeling bummed out.
He was authentic that way. And with the help of his family and friends, he found a way through grief over time. Time and time again.
We can too.
Grief is good when we allow ourselves to feel it, share it, and acknowledge it for what it is—messy, real, and unpredictable.
For me, embracing the deep significance of grief and grieving is linked to growing up. And strangely, a big and important part of growing up is allowing ourselves to fall apart.
Falling apart can offer a remarkable experience, filled with tender and foretelling moments, especially when we fully step into ourselves and come home.
As I approach half a century, it’s hard not to wonder why it takes so long—the journey of getting here.
But that’s the thing about a journey; there is no arrival point. There is no due date, deadline, hard line, soft launch, or fast-forward finish.
A journey is endless with monumental stops along the way. Stops help us recognize that we are traveling this earth with others, in just the right time.
We are all very similar in this way.
We are beautiful souls searching for home, and loss and good grief is a big part of this.
But I digress; just yesterday I was feeling sorry for myself. I found growing up hard. I found grieving hard.
This past month, quite a few people who I love experienced sudden loss, death, or sudden illness requiring serious, life-threatening surgery. Mixed into the swirl of it, I had a serious fall and was concussed. This, only a day after I was body checked by a man robbing a liquor store.
I have never experienced such energetic forces all at once before. People coming and going and sometimes crashing into each other like atoms.
And when it became an electric storm of sorts, I extended in ways that I have been preparing myself for—to try and help.
Unattached, and yet caring, open.
Present and not clinging.
Wiser at baring witness, making a meal to provide comfort without carrying another’s sorrow or suffering.
But when something I loved died recently, I was scared that I had gone and lost my string—the thread that kept me together so well.
And the thin wall between witnessing and feeling blurred.
I fell apart with grief.
I cried hard into a towel. At first I did this so my dog wouldn’t hear me. But he did hear me. And he came to me. I suppose grief is good that way too; it can extend a hand or paw.
And grief is not meant for us to do alone, always. It’s not meant for us to be quiet and boxed in, always.
Grief is good. It’s goodbye, and sometimes it’s a long goodbye, without judgement.
It’s what binds us all without the thread.
If you find yourself in the mix and mess of grief, and you are ready to experience what it means, you may want some help on the journey. Think about these two things as you walk:
1. Talk about it.
Share how you are feeling with or without words. Writing in a journal or drawing and sketching helps to give what is sometimes so difficult to understand, shape, and form. Expressing what it is you are feeling takes time, and writing or drawing is a type of therapy that helps shine light on dark spaces. I have found it to be a guide and confidante in some of my most anxious and uncertain moments.
2. Nurture yourself.
The truth of the matter is that you are growing in grief, and growing can feel painful. Your chest may hurt and you may cry frequently. If this feels true, remind yourself that this is going to pass. You will not feel this way always. And trust me when I say this: you are the most beautiful version of yourself when you are grieving. I believe this because we have let all the walls down around us. And when we do this, we are home in our beautiful truth. But, without some self-care, restful naps, or clean good eats, we may get depleted. Take time here to seek balance and excuse yourself from drama or anything that will push and pull you away from honouring this most sacred and tender time.
Grief is good because it is true. It is not hyped-up good vibes-only chatter. It is a chance to be who we are beautifully, and, by doing so, we extend a hand to others.
We heal with good and honest grieving. We heal by honouring our true journey.