In my grief share class, I learned about the benefits of writing a grief letter. At first, I initially thought I wouldn’t need to do anything like that. Those who are close to me, know what I need. Surely I don’t need to draft a letter to teach you on how to deal with me during this difficult time. However as time has passed on and I have had interactions with people, I now realize the power in drafting such a letter.
On May 1st 2021, I lost my daughter Alexis. My children lost their sister and my world has never been the same. Please know that bringing up my daughter will not make me feel uncomfortable, I want to talk about her. I don’t want to make you feel uncomfortable, so I will not bring it up if you do not bring it up. If you find yourself asking yourself- What can I do? Send words of encouragement , ‘I love you, thinking about you, thinking about Alexis, have a great day, praying for you.’ Share a memory with me. I would love to hear a story about my daughter. Even if the story is how her death has affected you and your family, share it with me. For those of you who live near me, come visit Alexis with me. Or visit Alexis on your own, her final resting place is so peaceful. I promise, you will catch some of the most beautiful sunsets there. Send a care package, send a hand written note- I am saving all of those things and I read every single one. I know grief and mourning is a touchy subject. I know some of you are extremely uncomfortable with this topic. I share this letter not only to help you deal with me, but perhaps someone else in your life who might need you to be present in a different way.
I’ve had people tell me, ‘Well at least you have other children. Everything happens for a reason. You are so strong. Just try to get out, it will help you get back to normal, let me know if I can do anything.’ Although I know there is no ill-will behind these comments, these have been the least helpful. As someone who is actively mourning, it’s okay to let me be sad. Know that I won’t be sad forever and nor do I want to be, God promises he will restore my Joy. Its not your job to restore it, I only need you to love on me. Know that your love and kind words help me heal. Please know that having my other children here does not erase the pain of losing one. I am thankful for them and they are the reason I get up and keep going. Try not to be cliché, just be you. If being you in this scenario is awkward, uncomfortable, and unsure then just send your love. Place me and my family in your prayers and if you see me and words escape you- embrace me. I would rather receive a warm embrace than cold empty words.
Life isn’t the same for me, however it doesn’t mean life isn’t beautiful and I don’t have moments where I feel like I’m making great strides towards healing. I also know this is MY journey and not all of you can go on this journey with me… and that is okay too- I love you anyways. If you see me out and I seem different or distant, its very possible I am. Love me anyways. If I don’t respond to a message, give me grace and love me anyways. If I cancel plans, don’t give up on me and keep trying. If you find yourself feeling sorry for me, please don’t. God is with me and I promise you he is creating something so beautiful out of this pain.
I love you all, God Bless.