When my cousins, my grandparents, and several mentors died, I grieved. I cried, I was upset, I went to the funerals, and then I kept going. But there is something about grief that lingers on. Even if I did not acknowledge it, my body did. Around the anniversary of their passing I would feel it physically, especially if I was not acknowledging it mentally.
Depression, grief, and mental illnesses do not just go away. Even while making progress and healing, being mindful of everyday struggles is healthy and necessary. Healing is not about not feeling pain, but it is about how to keep going in a healthy and sustainable way. I recently read an article about a type of community that arranges dinners for young people dealing with grief. The online community “The Dinner Party” focuses on life after loss, and organizes gatherings for those dealing with the pain of loss.
“We are a community of mostly 20- and 30-somethings who’ve each experienced significant loss. We get together over potluck dinners to talk about the ways in which it continues to affect our lives and how to thrive in #lifeafterloss.”
I love this concept, of community coming together, in mindfulness and awareness of loss to heal and thrive. Through this I hope that there is also openness, and an ability to bring the grief discussion into the community, to our families and to our friends that do not understand it.