"The ache of grief is always there, but the emptiness will lift one day. Their life to us the greatest gift, and only by living can it be repaid.” -- Jill Pendley
So true, that we always feel the grief, but what a comfort to know that the emptiness will someday leave us. We often hear people saying that 'you will get over it someday, you will move on, it will be a memory soon.' How so very wrong these comments are. Today I was speaking to someone who lost her brother 45 years ago. Her brother was 18 at the time and she told me it was the most difficult time in their lives, they felt as if they were all going crazy. It was so hard to understand and deal with. She told me that her mother never truly got over the death of her child. She was never quite the same after his death. This had been a woman who had lost her parents, lost her husband, and even siblings, but said that nothing compared to the death of ones child.
I have heard this same sentiment from other mothers who have lost a child, whether in infancy or adulthood, the ache and pain is so intense. I know for some people this may be hard to understand or even fathom a grief so intense. Yet I have met so many people in the last four years who have had reactions to the death of a loved one that they never expected to have. Much has to do with our personal relationship to the individual, and what this person truly represented in our lives.
A friend is having a difficult time with the death of his father, the initial shock has worn off, and now the reality that his father is not coming back, is hitting home very hard. The death of our loved one has a major impact on our lives. It can change our entire outlook, makes us more sensitive to others, or more cynical.
Of course, how our loved one died, also has bearing on how we respond to the death. There is a couple who several years ago had a daughter who had been murdered, they said it took years to forgive. More recently a young man in our area was murdered and his father will not rest until the perpetrator is apprehended and made to pay for his crime. If they died due to natural causes we accept it so much more differently than that of a violent death. This in no way is meant to diminish death of any kind, loss is loss, and each has its own pain and suffering; and our own personal grief is the worst.
If you ever have an opportunity to speak to others who have dealt or are dealing with the death of a loved one, you will learn so much about how they coped, what they did to ease the pain, and what maybe helpful to you during such a difficult time. We may find someone who can help us smile again, find a way to pick up the pieces, and return to work, school or whatever routine made up your day before their death .
We must allow ourselves to cry, to scream, to do whatever we need to do to deal with our new reality. Believe me when I say it has not easy, but I know that I am able to laugh again, to talk about Rachel without breaking down in tears and so much more that I would never have dreamed possible only a few short years ago. It doesn't mean I don't have my moments, but I have learned to control them a lot more.
So wherever you are in the grieving process, allow yourself to stay there as long as you need, do not let anyone tell you otherwise. There are no set time frames for coping with the death of a loved one. There are only guidelines and or estimates, but only you yourself knows what you need to do and how long it will take, and what you are feeling.
So remember: 'We all at certain times in our lives find ourselves broken. True strength is found in picking up the pieces. -- Jill Pendley
So know that some day you will not feel the emptiness you are currently feeling, and remember to always remember that 'gift' that was your loved one. It is only when we begin to live again, that we repay all the love that they gave us.
Blessings! and until we meet again.