Grief is obviously a byproduct of loss.
Loss by death or loss by an ending.
There are volumes of writings & thoughts on the death of a loved one. I lost my mother almost 18 years ago. I know about mourning death and as the anniversary of this life altering loss is almost here, I can tell you without hesitation, the loss does not go away, ever.
The other loss most of us experience is the ending of relationships. Friendships, marriages, romantic relationships. This loss while similar in some ways, is also so very different.
The person you lose is still ‘here’.
They are just living without you now where before they were living their lives with you. You may have had a best friend that you shared everything with, a marriage that when you spoke vows you truly thought it would last ‘until death do us part’ or a relationship where you dreamed about the future with someone until the day there was no longer a future together, but apart.
One of the beautiful, amazing things about us human beings is that we are all unique, we all process life and loss differently.
I have decided to share some of the things I realized about my personal grief process.
I recently realized that at some point (I can not pinpoint the exact moment) my grief became about control. As I was dealing and not dealing with my feelings and emotions, I made a subconscious decision to hold on to my grief, because I could.
It was mine, something that couldn’t be taken away & there was a strange comfort in that. My dreams may have shattered along with my heart but my grief was mine. I could hold on to it during a time when everything else was gone. The memories would always bring a flood of emotion with them, happiness, joy, sadness, anger, and deep, deep loss.
When something happens to you that is beyond your control, I know for me personally, whether I realize it or not, my defense mechanism, is to find some control. I may not have been able to control what happened, but I was able to hold on to what I was not willing or able to let go of.
Moving through the grieving process is individual, people will tell you that grief lasts a finite amount of time. I am not sure I agree. Sometimes, you choose to stay there longer. Sometimes you are just plain not ready to let go.
I wasn’t aware that I was responsible for still feeling broken. I really didn’t dig down deep enough to admit that I had been holding on to the past, the what if’s & if only’s, the last tiny pieces of something that was no longer anything.
It doesn’t change the reality, the relationship is still over but the amount of time you need to process it and actually figure out how to let go of it & release it depends on you.
I think when you experience a loss big enough to cause grief, you never truly ‘get over it’ but you do in fact have the ability to move forward. For me, it became a question of when I was willing to release my need to hold on to something that no longer served me.
Learning how to transform dreams and hopes for the future into memories and lessons. Finding some peace in the reality of what actual is instead of what I wanted things to be.
Having faith that no matter how unreal it may seem, there is something amazing in store for me. My life, although veering off track often in the last few years, is leading me to the actual path where I am meant to walk into my future.