The grief of letting go and saying goodbye

The grief of letting go and saying goodbye

by | Jun 25, 2018 | Grief

There are many times in life when we have to let go and say goodbye. We may not even realize it. We go about our day, our lives and something is there yet we don’t know what it is. We try to keep going, we put one foot in front of the other but there is something off, and we cannot put our finger on it.

This has been me lately. I have had lots of things going on in the background, and I couldn’t put my finger on any of them. The last couple of weeks, I have come to realize I needed to say goodbye to some things, to some people, and to some hope that I was holding on to.

Different types of grief

When someone dies having to say goodbye to them sucks. The grief is enormous and at times threatens to swallow you alive – I remember thinking when does it go away. The acute grief settles over time; the hurt turns into a dull ache instead of the intense stabbing pain. This grief is visible to you and others; it’s in your face until it settles into your body. As time goes by it becomes part of you. This grief you have no control over, you are reacting to losing someone. It takes the time it takes to be able to function with it.

Then there is the grief you experience when you let go of things that are no longer serving you, people that are no longer good for you. This grief is different; it still sucks and hurts like hell, but on the other side of it there is hope and opportunity. There is freedom to start new things, meet and build new relationships. To have a beginning there has to be an ending, so when you decide to let go and say goodbye to the person, idea, hope or dream – there is a new beginning waiting for you. It truly is the circle of life.

Everyday grief

I believe there is grief in most things we do – anytime we say goodbye, anytime we move on to something new. This is everyday grief, and we do not really notice it. For me, it comes to a head when there has been a lot of it; it compounds and then it is sitting on my shoulders. It weighs me down and takes me a little while to realize what is going on.

Last week I realized that I had to say goodbye to move on. I had to let go of the things I had been holding on to – pieces of the old me, of hopes I had that were no longer serving me, and a couple of people who I love yet are not part of my life anymore. It was a lot; I hadn’t realized I was holding on to so much and I couldn’t move on with all of this hanging around my neck.

I wish I could say I just let it go, that I grieved and moved on yet it is never that simple. It is a process, and I am still in it. Every day it gets a bit lighter, every day I feel different about it.

Dealing with everyday grief

Grief and loss is part of everyday life; I think the trick is to be aware of what is going on and allow the feelings to come and go without fighting them. You are allowed to be sad, to feel whatever you need to feel and not go through life with a smile slapped on your face.

I am a big fan of writing things down: spending a bit of time getting all the things you are carrying on paper and start letting them go. How? For me, I write letters. I put down everything I need to say, how I feel, and then I usually have a little cry. Once I am done, I feel lighter and that I can move forward. Sometimes I have to do this more than once – I will admit I am still writing letters about having to release my breast, this grief seems to have staying power. I spend time with her (the grief) and if she doesn’t seem to want to go when I want her to. I will have a dance party with myself, I don’t want to sit in the grief all the time so shaking my booty sends her packing.

If you ever need support in working with your grief, please reach out to me. It is one of my specialties. I feel weird saying that yet it is the truth.

Past Articles