I have grieved, and am grieving.
Several of my friends have lost parents or loved ones this year, and often I have been asked about grief and loss, knowing that I have recently lost my parents. I have no good answers, really. But I have learned a few things along the way.
I believe that grieving is an action word, used to describe the new state of "withoutness" that remains in the void left by loss. Grief is change. When something or someone leaves you, your life changes. It cannot possibly be any other way.
Nothing is ever quite the same. That, in itself, is the sad truth about loss.
In my experience, grief is a physical and emotional pain.
There is no way to avoid it.
It never goes away. Because they have gone away.
Grief is forever, ever present and life altering. It is, in our post 911 world parlance, your "new normal".
Grief is a void, left by love, or familiarity or security. Grief is an empty space. Some empty spaces can be filled, with time. Others never can.
Over time, though, for me, the emptiness fills with emotion. A song on the radio fills you with sadness. A line in a movie brings their face to mind.You see a glimpse of their face in your children's reflection. These fleeting visits feel warm, cold and everything in between. Sometimes a memory can change your day for the better and another can change your week for the worse. These moments of grace, a thin space where you feel them close again, these become your grief. You don't heal from the loss of a loved one. You simply learn how to see life differently without them.
So how do you survive? Everyone differently. I'm willing to bet that not one person processes their losses the same way as another, and that's fine. Do what you have to do. Make healthy choices. Allow yourself to feel. Be happy. Be sad. Work at feeling better. It's okay to feel better. Honour your loss any way that is meaningful to you.
Death is closure. There is no more impenetrable barrier. Do what you need to do to remember, not whatever you can to forget.
And through it all, remember most of all, that you yourself have lost, but are not lost. Remember to live.
Find Your CORE