I had lots of support from family and friends when Donnie died. Even a year later they were there at the grave site for the one year anniversary. I truly appreciate them; but as much as I needed their support, I also treasured my time alone.
Grief is not a process that ends after we pass through a series of predictable stages such as denial, anger and acceptance. I wanted – needed to grieve my way. We shouldn’t put pressure on people by saying that enough time has passed and they need to get on with life. Well, that’s totally wrong!!
I’m so thankful that my family and friends didn’t do that to me but I hear stories every day from grieving people that feel rushed. Our patterns of grief are as unique as our patterns of love. We don’t have to follow anyone’s pattern or perceived stages of grief. Sadness and grief are perfectly normal and necessary to our healing.
Grieving is not self-indulgence, self-pity or hanging onto something in the past. We should accept grief, welcoming our moments of sorrow as a time to heal.
Grief is not something we recover from but an ongoing process that may be part of our lives to our very last breath – and that’s okay. Grieving with family and friends is a blessing as long as they support our choices.
I’ve learned to live without Donnie but not to forget him, to honor my memories of the times we had together, while still living in this world. I don’t try to avoid my grief anymore but instead when it comes I let it have it’s time.