Grief is not something that happens and then leaves never to return.
When we experience any sort of grief, it shapes our world, who we are and who we are in the world. It can have powerful consequences – it can help us grow and it can deplete us. How we initially react to grief will not be our lifelong story of the grief, our initial sorrow and pain is not the end of the story. Sometimes after knowing bereaved individuals even for over a decade, one day I catch a glimpse of who they once were, prior to this deep sadness and they have returned. They are changed, different but not necessarily damaged or destroyed. The sadness will remain but it is no longer central to their every day experience of life.
I like to think that grief gives us a metaphorical pair of glasses in which we will now view the world differently. No one else knows we are wearing these glasses, they won’t be seeing the world from the same perspective we are, and that’s okay.
Grief is not something to happens to others. Grief comes with loving and experiencing life. It is a normal and natural response to loss. The challenge for all of us is to move gently and with compassion when it visit’s us or someone we care about. To understand that each grief is individual and unique to that person. That we all have personal resources that enable us to carry our grief and that for some those resources are quite large – allowing them to carry grief in a way that is very functional, for others those resources may be smaller and so grief may be too heavy to carry for a while.
There is no normal way to grieve even though grief during the life-cycle is normal.
Move gently, take care