So many times I am asked the question, "When will I get over this?" With grief, the sadness of losing someone does not completely go away, what we learn however, is to adapt to our new lives. Often I will hear a comment that is worrisome from family or close friends of the griever, they will say something like it has been 6 months already, or it is going on 2 years, they should be totally over this by now.
These comments send a mixed message to the griever, they are left feeling as if something is wrong with them, they can't be normal. How can they be, when everyone that knows them well keeps telling them they should have seriously moved on already. To add to this madness, the griever themselves is already in a whirlwind of confusion, not knowing which way to turn, or how to get a grip on the overwhelming emotions that refuse to subside.
Instead of reducing someones grief to time frames and limits, allow the person who is experiencing the multitude of emotion that rage unbidden, to express themselves, share those feelings, and most importantly to talk about their loved one. One of the greatest fears for those of us who are grieving is that others will forget about the one who died; so hearing his or her name is like a symphony to our ears. Yes it may bring a tear to our eyes, but they are mixed tears, those of missing our loved one and joy in knowing that someone else remembers them.
The main thing to remember is that no two people grieve alike, like snowflakes, we are each very unique. When my daughter, Rachel died my husband and I were like polar opposites, he craved noise and busyness, I longed for the silence. My two other children reacted in their very own unique ways, yet they were both morning the loss of a sibling. But the thing most of us forget is that, yes, the loss may be the same, but the relationship with the deceased and vice versa, was totally unique to them. In the loss of a child, a mother feels empty-armed, as if the baby she carried was whisked away. For the father, there is a need to protect, to fix, to make things right again, and that moves them in different directions. Only when their wife seems to be getting better, do they begin to let the pain in. For those on the outside looking in, it appears as if the father isn't letting go, refusing to move on, and that opens up doors of vulnerability that men are unfamiliar with.
In times of tragedy and death, there will be those who openly express their emotions and feelings, and others who remain stoic, almost uncaring. The world perceives our attachment to our loved one by the way we react. This is so unfair to so many people, not everyone is comfortable openly expressing their feelings and emotions, while others are pouring it all out. Our childhood, how we have watched others deal with loss, also effects are behavior, and is stored away and drawn upon when we are faced with life's crises.
There is no right or wrong way to grieve, there is no starting or stopping points. The key is to express our feelings, to share what we are experiencing, and above all, to speak about our loved ones. We must allow the memories of those we love to carry us into the future; a future where we will be able to laugh again, to find the beauty in nature, and the joy in simple things. And to remember that our loved ones are always with us, watching over us, loving us as they always did.
So allow those tears to flow or not, allow yourself the time you need, take care of yourself by eating properly and getting rest, know that you are not going crazy; you, your mind, heart and body are trying to figure this all out. Be patient with yourself and others, and give yourself the space you need, and do, do the the things that bring you comfort, that help you cope.
And always remember that even though our loved one is no longer with us in this physical world, they remain with us always and that no matter what, their love never dies.
Blessings! and until we meet again.