Grief, you’re a sneaky one…


Grief is living unapologetically and intentionally.


“Welcome to the club”…


If you’re wondering what club you’ve joined, unfortunately, it is the deceased parents club. One that I hope no one ever has to join, but as life would have it, it is a natural evolution. An evolution that came for me unexpectedly this past December when I lost my Dad. Those words are still hard to write or even fathom. 


Even with the shocking news, I did what any good, well-meaning and overachieving millennial would do (looking at you, book-it program), and went on a quest to kick butt in my wellness journey, destined to get that gold star for rocking grief, making my Dad proud.


a rock with a painted heart and the words, “for all those we have loved and lost” representing grief


Selected a grief counselor. Check.

Dowloaded all the grief journey audibles. Check.

Kept rooted in my faith. Check.

Got moving, keeping myself busy. Check. 

Found positive ways to communicate about my grief. Check. Check. Check.

I completed my checklist. I did it!


But grief doesn’t work that way. It ebbs and flows. And “over-healing” as I call it doesn’t self-correct grieving. Grief is a journey … and grief, you’re sneaky.


See, grief sneaks up on you when you least expect it. Living with it is the strangest emotion. Because it’s not the big emotions, it’s the sneaky little ones. It’s the older man asking your opinion on what card to send his grandson at your local Walgreens. It’s your uncle’s shockingly similar laugh when he calls to check on you. It’s planning to celebrate your brother’s thirtieth birthday thinking about our family’s last trip to celebrate his 21st. It’s buying a new grill, thinking about how he would complain that charcoal/wood burning will always be better. It’s hugging your mom a little too long. It’s seeing a Facebook post of someone’s father holding their new grandchild. 


It’s creating a new family chat with one less family member. No one prepares you for that one. 


But here’s what grief also is. Grief is living unapologetically and intentionally. It’s expressing deep gratitude to those you love. It’s taking up space and being fully present. It’s realizing how short this life can be, and every action has a reaction. It’s feeling the sunshine on your face and finding the good in the day. And it’s simply just letting the moment be what it is— the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Writing by Artist, Morgan Harper Nichols
Instagram @morganharpernichols


So, if you find yourself on a new grief journey, it’s not a welcome but an “I’m so sorry.” It’s a “let grief move through you and let your feelings be felt.” It’s “seeing the dark emotion as a glimmer of healing.” It’s seeing your tears as a release of the “love needing a space to be seen and heard.”


It’s a “while life is brutal, eventually, it will be beautiful again” even when you can’t see it. 


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