Inspirational

How I Grew Through My Grief: A Dedication To My Best Friend Sham

Hey yall and welcome back! It’s been a minute huh? I know I took a big step back from blogging these past 6 months, but it was a necessary step. 2019 has been one of the hardest years of my life and focusing on my healing has been my main priority. 

I have lost a lot of loved ones in 2019.  My grandpa passed in January, I had to put my dog down in April, lost some other family members as well and my best friend Sham passed suddenly in June. With all of this loss back to back, I really went into a dark place and didn’t have the strength at the time to get out of  it.

My once bubbly personality turned into endless tears and really dark thoughts. I hated feeling this way and needed to make a change ASAP.  Talking to my therapist was a game changer because she provided me some really helpful tips that really aided me in my healing.

1. There is no shortcut to healing. I tried anything and everything in order to feel better faster and guess what? It didn’t work. Some of the best advice my therapist told me was “you can’t go around, over, or under pain and expect for it to magically go away. You have to go through your pain in order to heal from it.” Let me just say, it hurts like hell working through your pain in order to heal but it’s so rewarding.

 2. It’s ok to not be ok.  Experiencing loss is hard enough but I also felt a lot of guilt with Sham’s passing. All the should’ve, could’ve, would’ve’s ran through my mind and it was really eating me up inside. She lived out of town and it broke my heart that I couldn’t get to her like I wanted to. I just felt like maybe there was more I could’ve done to prevent this from happening you know? My therapist reassured me that it’s normal to feel that way but I also shouldn’t beat  myself up about a situation that was completely out of my control. She gave me tips that help for when the guilt tries to set in and they have been very beneficial. I learned that it’s ok to have a bad day(s) but I don’t have to stay in those bad days. It’s also ok to smile, even through the bad times.

 3.  Let those tears flow. I was always taught growing up that it’s ok to cry but it’s just something that I didn’t like doing. Whenever I ever felt tears starting to form, I would do all that I could to suppress my emotions and that’s not healthy. Being in therapy has also made me realize that crying is apart of healing and it’s very therapeutic. I no longer hold back my tears and I have been feeling much better ever since. On some days, I might just have a few tears roll down my cheeks and other days it’s full on waterworks. Crying is a great stress reliever, and it’s a sign of  strength. There is so much power in vulnerability and I’m glad I know that now. 

It’s been about 7 months since Sham passed and we recently celebrated her 33rd birthday. I used to handle grief by just staying in bed all day and isolating myself from the world but therapy has given me other alternatives when it comes to processing my emotions and for that I am eternally grateful. I spent Sham’s birthday with her family and even though there were many tears, there was also a lot of love and support. I appreciate all of the kind words from everyone who checked on me that day; it really meant a lot.

 

Shammy, words can’t describe how much we love and miss you. You touched a lot of lives within your 32 years of living and you will always remain in our hearts. It’s been really hard these past 7 months without you but I know that you’re among the Angels and one day we will be reunited again. Thank you for all the memories that we shared and I promise to cherish them always. I hope you liked all the balloons and had a great heavenly birthday.  Keep painting the skies for us and I love you 3000 bestie.

Grief is hard to deal with but please remember that you’re not in this fight alone. Not only has therapy helped with my grieving but it’s helped me let go and grow from past traumas as well. I was against going to therapy at first because I felt like I could handle my emotions on my own but I’m so glad that I made that first appointment. You don’t have to carry that emotional burden forever and there is nothing wrong with seeking help. If you’re interested, TalkSpace and Therapy For Black Girls are some great resources to help get you started on your path to healing. I wish you well on your journey and keep your head up. I’m rooting for you! =)

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Until next time loves..

XO

Erica Leigh

5 thoughts on “How I Grew Through My Grief: A Dedication To My Best Friend Sham

  1. Thank you for sharing this very personal testimony Erica. Your pain has blessed more people than you will ever realize. You are loved!

  2. This is so beautiful, sis! You are so brave for sharing your journey. You’re absolutely amazing. Love you! 💖

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