Jamee Warden created ‘My Grief Plants’ as a way to help support her own healing and growth. Her website is full of resources to help support other grievers along their way. She is diving into the world of grief and offering her Bereavement Boxes to encourage healing for others. In her spare time you can find her writing, hanging out with her dog Flicka, and trying to live life to the fullest. In the following post, Jamee shares a personal anecdote on her grief journey and how she embraced her desire to cry.
I'm A Cryer
I’m a cryer.
Love makes me cry.
Death makes me cry.
Happiness makes me cry.
Sadness makes me cry.
I’m a cryer.
My mom was a cryer. She felt everything just as deeply as I now feel. We weren’t close in the traditional sense. But we share the same heart. There is something no one really mentions about grief or loss. The happy times bring tears. The celebrations that they don’t get to physically be around for. The big life moments. Those are the hardest. Especially when you didn’t have a chance to experience them when they were around. Through multiple loss the grief bombs add up. There are too many holidays already to miss them. There are the death anniversaries. The birthdays they miss. Before you know it...most of the year you are navigating your feelings about the loss. How do we get through it. I cry. Anytime I feel the urge to cry, usually in my car, I allow myself to cry. All of those pent up emotions need a place to go. Flowing down your face in the comfort of your car is a way to get out those feelings. If you bottle them up, like I’ve done in the past, they come out later as anger, typically directed at someone I care deeply about, or they fester into a health concern.
I’ve also been able to determine the magnitude of my grief through how often and how intense the crying is. In the beginning, I couldn’t help when the tears came, and what made them activate. I was a mess. I remember crying over a suitcase that my mom had given me in 7th grade that my boyfriend at the time hadn’t taken good care of. My friends were confused. I was confused. It was shortly after that they suggested that it might be time to seek professional help. As much as I didn’t want to hear that… I knew that my best friends had my back and their intentions were for my best interest.
The first day in therapy I told my therapist. I’m a cryer. That is how I express my emotions. That’s what got me here today. My friends are worried about me. I’m worried about myself. The best advice my therapist gave me was to take off my binoculars. To be here now. Don’t look too far ahead. Don’t look too far back. Stay present. That has stuck with me ever since. Now, when I start to cry, I release the tears and try to remember to remove my binoculars. I come back to the present moment, and really try to focus on my breathing. If necessary I get myself out in nature barefoot and sink into the earth. This helps to ground me. Alternatively, I will try to get in some water. This could mean a Texas water hole, a pool, or even my bathtub.
I remember early on it wouldn’t stop raining. The rain felt comforting. I felt that it matched my mood. The sun was so offensive at the time. I remember feeling so grumpy if the sun was out. I didn’t want to be happy. I was sad. However, In order to grow we need both. I’ve come to appreciate the dark days just as much as I appreciate the lighter ones. Loss cracks our hearts wide open. Depending on the relationship depends on the depth of the pain you feel. Because the relationship with my mother wasn’t great at the time of her loss, I never expected to mourn for her as hard as I did. It’ll be 5 years this August. I’m judging the progress of my healing by how often I cry. I can tell you it's a lot less. My roots have sunk and I am working my way back up to the light. It is getting brighter. But I will continue to need both to grow and thrive.
I’m a cryer. But it has gotten me where I am today. It’s how I process hard emotions. It’s how I feel the pain.
Today My Grief has Planted the faith that better days will come. What has your Grief Planted?