Grief is messy and doesn’t fit into a nice and tidy time frame. There is no way around it – we cry, we are angry and we don’t always want to socialize because we are quite simply unhappy.
Grief doesn’t play fair, and it’s not the same for everyone. So why does society want our grief wrapped up and dealt with so fast? Is it because grief makes them uncomfortable or because it brings them face to face with just how short and unfair life can be?
The truth is that it doesn’t matter how others feel about grief – it is messy and that’s the way it is. Don’t try to change your grief into something that is easy and tidy. Let grief be what it is and let it have whatever time it needs.
One of the most important skills is to not merely accept your grief, but to embrace it as a normal and healthy part of your journey.
True, our lives don’t look like what we had planned but perhaps some new thoughts can help us reduce our stress and gain a broader understanding of what we still have to be thankful for.
When your loved one dies, to say that your life will change is the greatest of all understatements. Your life will be torn apart; mentally, physically, financially and spiritually.
I was surprised to find that a dominant emotion for me was fear. Fear that I would never emerge from the emotional “widow fog”. Fear that I would never again be able to laugh and experience joy. Fear that I would fail in life and my memories of Donnie would fade away. I thought grief was so messy and unknown that I feared moving forward.
This week it will be fourteen years since Donnie died and my fears never came true. My memories of Donnie did not fade, I can laugh and experience joy and I have moved forward. Was it easy? – No, but I worked at it and I didn’t let grief take over my life.
Grieving is a loss of not only our loved one, but also our life as we knew it. It’s a matter of learning to work through the mess to create a new life. There are no shortcuts and no way to avoid our broken hearts.
Everyone experiencing grief knows that it alters not only the one who grieves but the friends/families around them. The ground that we once felt safe on has fallen away, our identity as wives is gone and we are left with our messy grief. We are confronted with unfinished and scary parts of our lives.
Here comes the challenge – to grow through our loss.
I know you are doing the best you can. As I think of you, I thank life for you and me, because even in times like these I know we are not alone.