Grief is a Journey Part 2 #1234 

by Sue Hawkes

Today’s blog is a continuation of our conversation on grief. I hope you find comfort in the words below.  

Grief from Loss: The grief we feel when someone we love dies often feels permanent and all-encompassing. It is a different kind of pain, and it was best described to me by a friend who lost her ex-husband and daughter, in a plane crash: “It’s like losing a limb. You will eventually learn how to function without it, but you will never be the same.” Eventually you stop feeling sad every day, but there will always be moments when it returns sharply on a visceral level — often when you least expect it. After someone passes away you also begin the “year of firsts,” which are the many milestones your loved one is not present for. This includes birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, and special dates between you and them. You have countless moments when you feel the gravity of the loss and you rarely see them coming.  

Grief is unique to every person and it’s a singular experience. Others may not understand and may expect you to get over your sadness after a period of time. Most people will be supportive and acknowledge it for a time, but shortly afterward they’ll return to their lives and expect you’ve done the same. Don’t hold yourself to any agenda; you may never feel the same, and that is okay. 

Moving Forward: First, move forward at your own pace, while being gentle with yourself as you define a new normal. In addition to riding the wave of emotions that you’ll be experiencing, connect with others who have shared a similar experience. They can relate to your experience and connect at a more meaningful level than those unfamiliar with grief. 

After the initial shock of your loss, it can be difficult to simply get out of bed. Over time, noting what you do accomplish and setting smaller, more attainable goals can help you feel more productive and motivate you to keep going. Lastly, I encourage you to accept help from others, especially if your tendency is to put up a strong facade. Make a list of chores or errands at work and home and allow others to do them for you. Everyone wins when contributing. 

Grief is a journey, not a pitstop. There are countless ups and downs, moments of overwhelm, anger, and sadness that appear out of nowhere. Eventually, things normalize again, yet they are never the same. If you are grieving, know that I see you and wish you peace. 

Sue HawkesGrief is a Journey Part 2 #1234