This is Your “Hard” (Lessons in Grieving)

“You just need to get over it.”

“Stop wallowing.”

“Snap out it.”

“It could always be worse.”

A few weeks ago, I was talking with someone who was experiencing some significant struggles in their life, and they told me that someone close to them told them they just needed to “get over it”.

That ranks in my personal top 5 of worst advice to give someone. It’s not helpful, it’s not compassionate, and it does not portray understanding. Someone who really cares about you will allow you to grieve. They won’t force you to move quicker than is right for you. They probably mean well, they just want to see you happy again, but it’s simply not what you need.

Yes, it absolutely could be worse. It’s important to remember that things can almost always get worse. There will always be someone who has it tougher than you do. However, that understanding doesn’t magically vanish all of your complex negative emotions. You’re here now. You are experiencing something devastating, sad, and crappy. And it flat out sucks.

You’re allowed to be sad. You’re allowed to grieve your loss. And you’re allowed to be disappointed when life doesn’t go the way you expected. When life doesn’t seem to take into account how much work you have put into something. How the timing isn’t right. How you just weren’t ready.

Remember, we’re all living our own lives. Our own individual stories. This is yours, and only you determine what is hard for you. It won’t be the same as what is hard for your spouse, your sister, your mom, or your neighbor. There is no such thing as normal. “Normal” looks different for everyone. You know yourself, trust your gut and loved ones to tell you the difference between grieving and depression. (And don’t feel bad about only doing the basics for a while).

You can grieve, and you can be sad. You can allow yourself to experience that emotion. It doesn’t diminish your worth, your strength, or who you are as a person.

After you finish grieving, dry your puffy eyes. Throw the tissues away. Pick up, move on, and you put it behind you and learn from your experience. But do it when YOU ARE READY. Don’t let anyone but you dictate the “appropriate amount of time” for your respective set back, tragedy, or hardship.

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