I attended a training around grief today, hosted by the amazing Leslie Barber of The Grief Warrior. This wasn’t the first time I’ve heard Leslie speak on grief and how collectively ill-equipped we are to be with it and support others. This is something I feel strongly about and am honored to work with her to support people with such an important topic.
What struck me this time is how much GUILT I carry for grieving parts of my life or events that have happened. My grief is often expressed in sadness ... so many tears ... and until today, I didn’t realize how much guilt shows up too. “Why am I STILL grieving? ... How can I grieve something I chose? ... I can’t call my friend to cry on the phone because it’s a burden and she has her own stuff.”
As women, I feel like we carry guilt around everything. “Mom guilt,” “partner guilt,” “working mom guilt,” “daughter guilt,” the list goes on. We feel guilty because we “should” all over ourselves - “I should be doing or thinking or saying this, or I shouldn’t.”
I call that "should-ing" all over ourselves ... we place these (often unnecessary) expectations on ourselves and end up "should-ing" all over ourselves for not living up to them. Because, let's be honest, they're unrealistic and unattainable.
So what I realized today is I want to let that guilt go. Grief stays with you forever, it doesn’t go away ... you just create space for more things to come back in over time (as I’ve learned from Leslie). So I need to allow myself the space to let it hit me when it hits me, and be in the mess. I work with my clients on this ALL the time, and it still can be so hard to do.
What guilt can you let go?