One of the first things I thought about as I processed my grief and the loss of my grandmother was my routine. Visiting her in the nursing home wasn’t just my nightly routine, but the part that my day revolved around. I had the hours blocked off on my Google Calendar and my Calendly so that people couldn’t book time with me, my clients knew that I had a hard stop each day at 4:30 pm, and even my time at the barn was scheduled, so that I could to go home and change my clothes before I needed to head over to see my grandmother. But the thing about routines is that they can be hard to break once they’ve been established.
A week after my grandmother’s passing, I still find myself ready to close my laptop at 4:30 pm. By the time the clock hits 5 pm, I feel as though I’m late for something. And overall, my days feel a lot longer than they once did.
In a way, the grieving process is two-fold. I’m grieving the loss of a loved one, and I’m saying goodbye to the life I knew as a caregiver. For the first time in my adult life, I can silence my phone at night, take a trip abroad, or move to a new location, if I wish. And, you know what? It all feels terrifying.
So far, my new routine has been to take a lot of walks during the day as I slowly ease back into work and prepare to onboard a new client next month. I’ve been taking time to sit in silence and feel my emotions, and when that gets too overwhelming, I see a friend or head to the beach to watch the sunset. It has also been slowly making decisions in my own life that have been long overdue. Each day is another day for me to start a new routine, and while it’s hard to move on, I’ve learned that it’s a necessary part of the grieving process.