Understanding Grief ~ by Tanya Brown

Understanding Grief & Walk Through The Tornado of Grief Chaos!

Losing anyone at any age from any incident is, I believe, the hardest thing anyone can experience. Sadly, death is inevitable. Many of you reading this may not understand the dynamic of grief and the effects it has in your daily living. Grief is a different set of emotions. When we experience stress, we may feel overwhelmed, anxious, tired and irritable. With grief, we may put the milk in the cupboard or leave the car running as you are in your work space for 8 hours. How do I know this? I have done it and guess what? IT IS NORMAL! You are NOT going crazy!
My name is Tanya Brown, and I am the youngest sister of the late Nicole Brown Simpson. However, many people equate my family with domestic violence. What few people know is that I suffered a breakdown and attempted suicide in 2004. This all stemmed from the lack of feeling, not knowing where to go; who to talk to. I did not understand grief and how to change my focus from pain to joy. I became an over eater and fell into controlling relationships because I needed comfort. I had no idea what to do. Now, with COA, and the support of the San Clemente community, you have resources to help you understand and receive professional assistance with the understanding of you and your experiences.

Sadly, when your loved one dies, at first, you receive a lot of support from your family, friends, colleagues and community. They will bring you food, lend support, help you around the house or run errands. You have been in shock, taking care of the checklist of things to be completed to attain the final goodbye; the funeral. That is when people need you the most. The most chaotic time for us was the preparation, the people (although the support was greatly appreciated). But the hard times comes when it all calms down. Thank God we had each other. That is the power of support and community. You must ask when you need to talk, getting out of bed, do chores, open mail or even get a cooked meal. If we don’t ask for the help, people will think you are handling everything so well and with ease. That is not the case! You need support during hard times, death or not. We all do. The only hurdle is this; you need to process the emotions.

Grief is very unpredictable. One second you are feeling ok or maybe even great and the next you are in tears because of a trigger or memory. Grief is a process, and no detours should be permitted. For us to live healthy lives as the painful journey continues, I can’t tell you enough how imperative it is to walk through the tornado of pain. There will be emotional setbacks, and there will be emotional progress. The cure is this… GIVE YOURSELF THE PERMISSION TO FEEL AND BE WHERE YOU ARE IN THAT MOMENT. Don’t run from it. Sit in it, meditate on it and think of a happy memory to help you transition from pain to joy.

Try not to make any life-altering changes for at least one year. Give yourself time. Time will be your best gift. I know it sounds cliche, but there is truth to that. When we rush to reach the finish line of grief, we throw things out; memories, clothes and other belongings. We may put away pictures because you don’t want to see their face. GIVE YOURSELF THE GIFT OF REMEMBERING YOUR LOVED ONE! It is very harmful burying your love in your home. Keep the memories alive and put the pictures on the wall. Remember them, the good and the bad. All of it is healthy to feel. The more you can remember and process, the healthier the process will be.

Please reach out if you need help. I facilitate a grief group every Monday 6:30-8:00 pm at 1040 Calle Negocio, San Clemente if you want to stop by as you are.

Feel free to reach out if you need help finding peace amid the chaos of grief.