I Dont Want This to be My Story Event Experience

May 17, 2023 | Written by Tiah Ciganek

You never know what you’re going to walk into when you’re going to an event where you know the topic is on grief. Grief comes in many ways, whether it’s the loss of a loved one, the shattering of a marriage, the inability to have a child, losing a job, or feeling mentally and emotionally drained from life. So why did I go?  

This world can be overwhelming, and when you keep your pain locked away, it will eventually find its way out, and sometimes it doesn’t look pretty when things blow up. I am young, but I have some scars that have taught me a few things to do before my emotional bomb goes off.

Recently, my best friend’s mom passed away unexpectedly. I did not know her mom, but it felt wrong. It felt like my friend had her joy in life just stolen from her in an afternoon. Since then, I have just been easy to cry, which led to a lot of my own pain that I decided it’s time to deal with.

What did this event do for me? It made me slow down. It made me sit with my feelings (sad feelings) that I ignore. But this event wasn’t about sadness; it was about finding hope and language in our sorrow. The tears came streaming when I opened up the beautiful booklet given as part of the event.

On the first page, it read, “What do I want?” and the second page was titled, “What do I need?” Not sure why those words struck me, but I just wept. I realized I don’t know what I want or need because the list is endless and felt unreachable. So I focused on what I wanted for myself, my marriage, and my daughter. In all honesty, I don’t know if I have ever answered those questions in my life.

The tears of healing washed over me, and though I only knew one person at my table, we went around and shared why we were there. I heard stories that broke my heart. But there is healing when we share our testimonies, our times in the dark trenches. Knowing I have fellow women who will stand with me and cry with me, even if we just became friends five seconds ago, is truly the richness of God. Just like we ask for our Heavenly Father to meet us where we are, I felt that during the event. These women sat with me in my tears and just listened.

Though our journeys are long and hard and look completely different, I find that it is immensely relieving to just let yourself cry, weep, laugh, and, most importantly, allow yourself to receive love from others and, most importantly, from the Lord.

Whenever another event takes place, you will find me there, ready to receive and love on others in the room. I am deeply thankful for Cindy and the team that put this soooooo needed event together.

Tiah Ciganek

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