I Quit My Job So You Don't Have To...Feb 06, 2023
I quit my job to grieve so you don’t have to…
A year and a half ago, I was running on empty. I was a recently-divorced orphan, all by the age of 32. My mother had died of cancer when I was a child, my father died suddenly in 2020, and shortly after, I made the difficult decision to end my tumultuous marriage. On top of all that, we were all reeling from the impacts of the pandemic, which had redefined what everyday life looked like across the world.
It was…a lot.
But, I’d always been praised for my resilience in the face of challenges. When the world around me was hard, I put my head down to focus on work or school. Yet, a year and a half ago, it became clear that I needed to focus on my mental health—something I’d always told other people they should do, but never really knew how to do, myself. I realized that I probably needed more than a bubble bath and a sheet mask every now and then: I was struggling to get out of bed in the morning. I was questioning why I was here, at all.
In all of the hard work I was used to doing for others, I’d never done the hard work on myself. It turned out that I was the thing I needed to dedicate more time to. In my three decades on this earth, and my ten years of hustling toward the career I dreamed of, I’d never given myself the grace or space to feel.
When I tried to make space for my wellness, you know what finally came into focus? My grief. Those feelings I had boxed up when my mother died? They actually had some space to peak through the lid. My agony for my father’s death that I had shoved down? It was bubbling up. And now I had new grief rearing its head with my marriage coming to an end. It became clear to me that I couldn’t rest and grieve and work. I couldn’t do it all.
After a lot of careful thought, I decided to take a big risk to prioritize my wellbeing. I quit my job…to grieve.
I set out on a grief sabbatical to process my grief every single day for a year. I called it my year of Grieve Leave, and I decided to write about my grief journey online, thinking it might resonate with someone else out there struggling with their own losses.
It turns out that I wasn’t alone. My blog did resonate, and not just with a couple of people, but with thousands.
Here’s what Grieve Leave taught me: we all feel grief—like, all the time. Right now, in this exact moment that you’re trying to read this, you might be grieving the loss of a loved one, a medical diagnosis or injury, having recently moved, changing jobs, the end of a relationship, your kids getting older, not having kids, or something else in your life—like the pandemic changing normalcy for all of us.
As humans, it's a guarantee that at some point we'll experience a sense of loss. Yet, as a society, we don’t talk much about one of the few things in life that impacts us all. So many of us feel alone in our grief as we go about our every day lives at work or at school, and so many of us feel lost when it comes to supporting others in their grief. We stay silent because we’re afraid to say the wrong thing.
Listen: we can’t “fix” any of these losses—we can’t erase them. But we can do something about the stigma and isolation we feel in our grief. When we acknowledge that grief is a real, everyday thing, and when we make the brave choice to grieve, we can come together to support ourselves and each other.
Over the past year, Grieve Leave has become so much bigger than me taking a yearlong grief sabbatical. Grieve Leave has become a resource and a community of grievers from all over the world. And between the interviews with local and international news about what it means to grieve, and DMs from people of all walks of life asking for advice, I think I’m onto something, here.
So…what’s next for me and Grieve Leave? Well, I quit my job to grieve so you don’t have to. I’m taking what I’ve learned in my year of grieving, and I’m building out Grieve Leave to become something more powerful than what I can do by myself with just my own voice.
I’m excited to announce that Grieve Leave is growing. GrieveLeave.com and @grieveleave will continue to support people who are grieving all types of losses, to help us feel a little less lost in our grief. We will share resources that amplify the voices of mental health professionals, researchers, and other experts in grief and grieving. We’ll laugh together and cry together. We’ll share our own stories of loss. We’ll raise awareness and push for change in our world when it comes to supporting grievers. More than anything else, we will continue to build a community that empowers us to grieve on our own terms.
Join us as we grow! Head over to our new and improved GrieveLeave.com, join our mailing list, and stay in the loop as we build community connections, share resources and insights from experts, and speak up about grief and grieving.
When you’re struggling to find the right words to say, or you don’t know who to turn to, GrieveLeave.com will be there for you.
Grieve on, friends.
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