Nothing at all can take away the grief and indescribable mixed bag of emotions that come with losing a loved one, especially a parent; but having that daily 30 minutes or an hour to myself gave me the ability to get through the grief and not sidestep it. It allowed me to process and unleash what emotions I felt that day, whether it was guilt, confusion, anger, or overwhelming sadness.
I actually feel that it helped me go through anticipatory grief, and I am so grateful for that because it allowed me to be present with my dad through the end and not numb anything out because of unresolved pain. To this day, I credit this as the main thing that truly helped save me from the paralyzing shock and denial that people understandably experience after loss.
On days that I felt like screaming at the world about how unfair it all was, I would push a 250-pound sled back and forth and let myself feel just how angry I was. On days that I felt like I could barely stand up because my body was so weak and crushed by sadness, I would run by the water letting the wind howl in my ears and my spirit howl alongside it. On days when I felt so helpless for not being able to do anything but stand by and watch my dad slip away? I trained to do multiple pullups for the first time in my life, because I needed to show myself I could handle something I never thought I would be able to do.
Working out fortified me, but it also allowed me to feel OK with feeling weak, because it reminded me that I could still get through it even feeling that way. I knew the best thing I could do for my dad was to show him that I was going to be OK, because seeing that I was fulfilled, healthy, and happy was all he ever wanted for me.
After all, he was the one to teach me to stand on my own two feet.
Love Minna’s story? Read about the tonic that healed her inflammation and leaky gut.