In the beginning, grief is like a fog – thick and dense. It’s a barrier between you and the world as you once knew it. You desperately want to feel better. You want to feel normal. Yet the idea of ‘normal’ seems impossible.
Then one day you look up and realise that you can see a little further in front of you, the world is a bit brighter and things are becoming clearer. The days start getting a bit easier and the nights more restful. The tears are less, and laughter and joy are once again part of your life.
Grief is a strange thing. You desperately want it to go away, except for those times when you don’t want it to go away.
You may feel that your pain has become the expression of the love you have lost. In may seem that grief has come to define you in the context of your life after loss. Who are you if you’re not someone grieving the loss of someone special? And who are they if you aren’t grieving for them?
It’s common to feel conflicted about feeling better. And, although it may not seem rational, it’s also common to gravitate towards the pain. When it feels like the alternative to feeling pain is losing your connection to your loved one, what other choice do you have?
So, what can you do? While the answer will be personal and specific to you, consider the following.
Memories don’t live in your grief
Remember, you’re loved one’s memory does not live in the pain of your grief. As cheesy as it sounds, your loved one’s memory lives in you. It lives in the stories you tell people about your loved one. It lives in the memories you share together with family and friends. It lives in the things you do to honour their memory.
Embrace the idea that pain lessens
Doing things such as looking at photos of your loved one and listening to their favourite music can initially bring you a lot of pain. But as time moves on, this pain will reduce. It doesn’t mean your love for them is any less. It means you are healing and learning to live with the memory of your loved one in a different way.
Make a conscious decision to continue bonds
Your connection to your loved one can be part of your daily life as you move forward and find your ‘new normal’. You may be surprised to find that, as you find positive ways to continue bonds with the person you have lost, you can let go of more of the pain without fear that you are letting go of your loved one.
If you need help with grief and bereavement, contact Walter Carter Funerals by emailing [email protected]