Grieving has been called a lot of things by many. The rules of the road vary for everyone. Grief is unique that way. But one thing I think can resonate with everyone and that is “grief is long term”. There is no “short term” grieving. It’s a lifelong arduous journey that navigates us to places within our hearts, minds and souls that we could have not imagined.
My grief is so very different than it was 13, 10, 5 years ago. It is more “chronic” if you will. It doesn’t feel any different from day to day. Some days I do struggle more, but that is probably because I have opened the door to it. I keep grief at arm’s length and while I don’t recommend that to all, it is a way for me personally to manage it.
What I do know is that you DO have to manage it. Otherwise it can manifest itself in other ways – health, relationships and most of all your own mental health. We think it is much easier to just avoid it. But the long-term impact is that the emotions and stress of loss will continue to lurk behind the scenes of your life until one day you come face-to-face with it. Grief smacks you upside the head and says “yeah, I’m still here”.
Recently I’ve had my own struggles with how I manage grief. I avoid it now at all costs. And have been for years. It’s my idea of survival. Why wouldn’t I – everyone around me has moved on with their lives, as did I. But what is different for me is the hole remains. The dreams shattered of what I had hoped for my daughter and myself. A mother’s loss is so profound, I can not even put it into words. The death of an only child even more profound. There is NO escape from it. It haunts me every single day – whether is shows or not. Only I know it.
This is what long term grief looks like for me.
How about you?
Until Next Time,