I was walking along the beach, feeling like I was on top of the world, when the sand came out from under me... and by ‘sand,’ I mean my heart broke in two and the world went silent. I had just found out that I lost my brother Ricardo, and I was on the other side of the world without the option of properly grieving him.
I understand your heartbreak; the heartbreak you’re experiencing due to losing someone you love to COVID-19. I understand how in that moment you never thought you’d be okay.
After losing my two brothers, yes two, one year apart from the other, I went on to study Psychology and Business, spend 14 years in the world of Mental Health, become a Global Keynote Speaker on Mental Toughness, and start the Jeboah Miranda Foundation to help women who have been affected by suicide and other mental health challenges. Because of this, I want you to know that this pain, this unbearable pain you are experiencing, will start to lessen and you will start to become okay, eventually.
To help you grieve the person you lost, start by allowing yourself to feel broken and not okay. Accept that this is how it is, today. This is normal, you are normal, and quite frankly, this just sucks.
Once you choose to accept this will hurt for a while and you will not be okay for a while, I encourage you to try some of the following to help show yourself more love and compassion during this devastating time:
Allow yourself to feel… to really feel. Allow yourself to cry as much and as hard as you need to, without judgement. You just endured trauma and hell, what you need in this moment more than anything else is love - so show yourself some. Remember though, if you feel like you’re crumbling, put time limits on how long you will cry that day. By setting time limits, you allow yourself to heal through feeling, without drowning in your pain.
Send the person you lost love and peace. Either write out the incredible memories you have with them, think about them, or tell someone close to you about these memories and the qualities you adored about this person.
Try and look at the positives. Wait. Hold on. Before you write me off, hear me out. +Try to think about how you will grow from this situation. How you will become a better person from this experience. After my brother died, the first one, I forced myself to think about what I would learn from the situation and how I would become better off as a human being. By doing this, you do not nullify their existence; rather, you attach some meaning to the heartbreak.
Implement rituals to remember this person. When my brother died, the second one, my sister and I would mail each other a birthday card addressed to my brother Isaac on his birthday each year. We would write a note in it, as if he was going to read it, and this would allow his life to live on.
This will hurt for a while, but if you allow yourself the space to grieve your loss, to truly grieve it, you will live on with your loved one right there with you.
Jeboah is a Global Keynote Speaker on Mental Toughness, Branding for Small Businesses and Digital Marketing for Small Businesses. She is the Host of In Her Blazer podcast and is the Founder of the Jeboah Miranda Foundation, jeboahmiranda.ca. Feeling Social? Follow her on Instagram @jeboahmiranda.
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