Friday, July 13, 2018

Running Through Grief: The Process of Remembering with More Joy and Less Pain, One Step at a Time

Six years ago today, on Friday the 13th, I received the call from my mom that my grandma (affectionately know as GG by my daughter) had fallen and was in the hospital. While hospitalized, it was discovered that she had advanced lung cancer. As my family dealt with the shock, they worked tirelessly with the hospital staff to make sure her pain was under control. They began to plan to take her home on hospice but she died in the hospital on Monday, July 16, 2012. 

While the intensity of the grief has lessened, the anniversary reaction seems to have hit me harder this year. Maybe it's because the dates fall on the same days of the week? Maybe it's because I'm more emotional about life in general this year? Either way, grief still hurts. I know it's OK to hurt and it's OK to cry. 

I'm grateful that I had such a special relationship with my grandma. And, I'm grateful that my daughter adored her, too. My grandma made us feel loved and valued. She was present. She listened. She cared. She was kind. 

I was reminded of my grandma when I recently saw "Won't You Be My Neighbor" - the documentary about Mister Rogers. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it - and make sure to bring a supply of tissues since I was crying buckets.

I'm also grateful that I started running again shortly before she died. I found great solace as I ran in her memory with Team Lemon to support Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer. Each step helped me through my grief and together we have raised over $4,000 for Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation.

I'm also grateful for the power of music that connected me with others and helped me through my grief. A few months before my grandma died, I met Anne through our love of The Afghan Whigs. After we bonded over music, I learned that she recently lost her husband to colon cancer and she was the mother to a young boy. She has shared some beautiful posts about love and grief on her blog:

I'm also grateful for the wealth of grief resources on the internet. What's Your Grief is one of my favorite resources:

What's Your Grief: Dealing with the Anniversary of a Loved One's Death

I am not the only one who has found solace through running. Below are some posts I found about running and grief:

Running Through Grief

Running Brought Us Together. Now It Helps Me Cope With His Sudden Death

Another Mother Runner Podcast #310: Running Through Grief

Real Runners: I Regained My Life After Extreme Loss

Running Is a Great Coping Mechanism for Grief

Running Through the Tears - Hello Grief

I Used to Hate Exercise—Until It Was the Only Thing That Got Me Through My Dad's Death

Running From Grief: Can Moving Forward Heal?

Running Through Grief - Centering Corporations

Running Away: Running Through Grief - Run Oregon

Running Through Grief - Running Dads

A Long and Slow Run Through Grief

Sweating Out The Sadness: Can Exercise Help You Grieve?

The Runner's World Show Episode 64: Running Through Grief

Running My Way Through Grief Not Away From It

Running Through Grief - USAF Marathon

Running Again

Running Through Grief - Run David Run

Running Through Grief - Widow's Voice

Oldest Marathoner Turned to Running to Cope With Grief

How Running Helped Me Cope With My Husband's Sudden Death

Running From Grief - Trail Sisters

Running After Grief: How Exercise May Help You Cope With Loss

Reston Teen Runs Through Grief to Help Other Military Families

Grief Chats: Running Through Grief

How have you coped with grief?

Have you found solace in running?

Have you found comfort in music?

Have you found support on the internet?

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