Megan Hillukka is a grieving Mom turned grief coach after the death of her daughter in 2016. She has spent her years with grief wondering and searching for how we as humans live after such devastating loss in our lives. After much work with her own grief, she’s found life after loss is not only possible, but that life after loss can be amazing and beautiful, even mixed together with grief. Megan hosts a podcast called “Grieving Mom’s Podcast” where she supports grieving mothers through the unthinkable of child loss.
How many times have you thought that you shouldn’t be feeling this way? That this pain is horrible, and should not be here? I think we’ve all been there. I have felt the deep pain of grief and wondered ‘What’s the purpose?’ Yet, after I sobbed until I couldn’t cry anymore, after I’ve yelled and screamed so hard I thought my heart was going to come out of my chest, I felt my grief lighten. I felt the release. It seemed that every time I allowed myself to express and release my emotions and pain physically, it got lighter. Every time I faced my pain head on, that is when I could stand up again for another day.
Grief, I’ve learned, is a gift. In a society where we race and rush and ignore our feelings, grief will not be ignored. We treat grief like a disease that needs to be rid of immediately. We treat grief like a monster that should be hidden and shoved under a mask. When we try to run away, numb, ignore and hide our grief, it waits patiently for us to come and tend it. I have learned that my grief needs to be cared for. It will not take ‘no’ for an answer. When I try to ignore my grief, it’s exhausting. The longer I fight my grief, the more tired I get. Then, when I’m too tired to hold that beach ball of grief under water any longer, it explodes out and hurts more people than I meant to or wanted to.
So, I’ve learned that grief is really a gift, and when I tend to it, it’s very healing. When I take the time to sit with my grief and pain, when I take time to notice how grief feels in my body and acknowledge it, it seems like it lessens and flows through me. If I allow my grief to flow through my body like a wind in the reed, then it’s not such a fight; rather, it’s a relaxing into grief.
My grief will be with me the rest of my life. It ebbs and flows. Grief has become a part of who I am. It has changed me on the deepest level. I walk with this person called grief, and I have become comfortable with her. It seems like my grief and I have settled into an understanding, and I no longer fight it.
The grief I carry is because I had to say goodbye to my daughter Aria. Now, my grief is a reminder to me that I had a daughter named Aria. She was real. She was and is loved. She taught me many things, and I’m so thankful I was able to be her mother. Grief reminds me of this when it comes and goes. Now, as time has gone on, I welcome grief in. I welcome it with open arms because my grief is all the love I have for Aria, and I don’t ever want to let go of that.