During my 2-year journey of grief and loss, I bumped into something I would later term “grief chicken.” It goes something like this:

There is this song (actually there are 2, early on though there was only 1), that for whatever reason, always makes me think of my Mom. Every. Single. Time. From the first note of it, it can bring me to my knees in tears. No matter what rendition of the song or the artist, always the same effect.

I recognized this experience and sometimes I would find myself feeling brave and think “oh maybe I can put that song on and make it through it ok.” Nope. Then some months later, me again: “Oh I’m feeling pretty good about that song, let’s try it again. Again, tears.

Ok. I realized that this whole “dance” was part of me processing and working through my grief. Honoring my Mom’s death. Feeling the feelings that came up. Exploring my thoughts, letting the tears flow…sometimes a lot more than others.

I came to call this “grief chicken” one afternoon on my way home from the supermarket. I got into my car and I thought, “I’ll put that song on…” and tears. And when I got home, I also felt peaceful. Something I couldn’t ever really articulate into words very well, just, peace.

And that dance has continued. And I’ve come to call it grief chicken because I know the thing on the other side will likely make me cry. And I also know that on the other side of that, I will find growth.

I share all of this to say that yesterday, I was feeling brave. I pulled up the song on YouTube and yeah, there were tears. And growth.

Have you ever experienced or chosen to play “grief chicken?”

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