“The Bereaved” is One Year Old!

I’m celebrating the first anniversary of The Bereaved by letting all of you know The Official The Bereaved T-Shirt is now available!! You can find it here. I will be making more grief-inspired merchandise soon that I’ll be sure to let all of you know about. In the meantime, you can check out other t-shirts (and mugs!) I’ve made here.

So what have I learned in the year I’ve been expressing my intense feelings of grief on this blog?

Well, I know that I won’t truly feel happy, in the pure way I used to, for a very long time. I still look at pictures of people on the Internet whose faces are full of joy and think to myself, “Must be nice…” And I know what people choose to share with the world online is the most curated version of themselves, but still. I don’t have any pictures of me from the last year where I’m wearing a smile that reaches my eyes.

I’ve also learned, and I know I’ve said this to all of you a million times, I cannot accept someone as my friend that’s not willing to put in the work a real friendship requires. Someone that’s truly your friend checks on you to make sure you’re OK. She/he/they invite you to things, you don’t have to do all of the inviting. She/he/they are there when times are good and when times are bad. Friendship is a two-way street, never forget that.

Lastly, I’ve settled into the idea that grief is a very long and arduous process. I will never be who I once was, but to even feel close to who I used to be is going to take the next several years. I know the key to my healing is prioritizing self-care. If I don’t feel like talking to anyone, I won’t talk to anyone. If I don’t feel like getting out of bed on a Saturday, I won’t. I need to give my mind and my body the rest they need if I’m gonna heal. And to paraphrase the great, inimitable Warsan Shire: “If [I’m] gonna heal, let it be glorious.”

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