I write this blog to you guys from a heavy place. It’s been 2 days since the passing of one of the greatest professional basketball players of our time –Kobe Bryant and his beautiful daughter Gigi. His passing is affecting so many, even those who only knew OF him. As I write this, it’s also going on a year since my divorce, and I can’t help but think of the horrible moments that took place that day also. In light of these two situations, I wanted to help those who may be hurting because you’re grieving a loss.
Often times, it’s hard to even process what just happened because we’re still in denial. We say things like “This can’t be real” “This can’t be happening” “I must be dreaming or in a nightmare” when in reality it is happening. This is what I like to think is the first stage of the grieving process. This taste of reality hits hard when there's physical evidence to confirm it. For example, I was no longer in denial when I had the papers in my hand signed by the judge.
Some of us may bypass the denial phase and go straight into shock. We still can’t believe that this has happened, and we’re just trying to wrap our heads around what happened in hopes of it making sense. I want you to know that it may never make sense, and at some point we have to come to terms that all of our questions may or may not get answered.
After the shock wears off, we start to really feel the impact of the loss. In this phase, we can experience a series of emotions such as deep sadness. We find it hard to stop crying, and even when it feels like there are no more tears, we still bleed out more. It seems that no amount of comfort helps. We may also experience anger. We are mad with God, ourselves, or the “universe” for allowing this to happen. We get easily agitated or annoyed by the smallest of things because we’re angry and want those around us to feel that we are hurting. I’ve been here before. The best thing for me was to remove myself from those closest to me and take a break from all of the distractions so that I could sit in silence and calm down.
After we’ve experienced the rollercoaster of feelings, we land at accepting the loss. And by accepting, I don’t mean being “OK” with it. Or that you’re all of a sudden “good.” By accepting the loss, I mean that we begin to understand that the loss is unfortunately out of our control. We accept that it happened. We accept that this will forever change our lives.
The difficult thing about dealing with grief or difficult times is that there’s no magic formula, and everyone has their own way of healing through the pain. However, in moments like these I try to go to God. There’s a scripture found in Psalms 34:18 that says, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” (NLT)
Many of our spirits are crushed by Kobe, his daughter, and the other families who died along with him in the crash. I pray that as you recognize your grieving process, and learn to heal you too can leave a legacy as great as he did.
Tierra Gerdine, Mompreneur and friend passionate about entrepreneurship and sharing her story.