Grief and Loss is one of those topics you think is fairly well covered off in the media, blogs and conversation. It is easy to find the steps of grief, tips for grieving and workshops on grief and loss. I find that the messy and very real side of grief is not talked about enough though. As I was thinking about this post I found these words written by Lexi from Scribbles and Crumbs. Lexi always has the words, in the perfectly real combination, to express her own grief. On this occasion she has nailed it for me too!
Grief and Loss are a part of life, they are a part of loving. The pain of grief is the price we pay for love. I have always felt that this was a great way of looking at it. There is always a cost, and the cost for loving and living deeply is grief.
If you are grieving, I think the most important thing you can embrace is that grief never ends. I know this can seem overwhelming, and maybe a little dark! Bear with me though .. it does change, it does fade a little, some days you actually forget about it. It never leaves you though, and if you have loved and lived deeply I don’t think you would really want it to leave you would you? Of course you want the searing pain to leave you, the aching and longing and the way that it paralyses you. These things do leave you in time, they are the acute aspects of the pain of grieving.
Grief comes at different times for different reasons, and it is such a personal thing. There are so many factors that affect the way you will grieve. Things like your upbringing, the way you were raised and loved, the way you express yourself, whether you are a deep thinker and feeler or a bit more shallow. I am about as deep as it gets, so my grief is a deeply engrained part of me and my everyday.
It also depends on the type of grief. Losing a child, a parent, a sibling, a soul mate, a best friend, a beloved pet .. all of these are the most deeply felt types of grief. Losing your home, your job, your plans or life as you know it, these are also intense forms of grief. From there are many more things in life that cause us a sense of grief and loss.
From my own experience, the talking and the honouring of your grief is the most important part. It is never OK for anyone else to judge you in your grief, never. There is no time limit, there may be well researched ‘steps’ however the way that you work through them, or not, is entirely up to you.
I have found such an incredibly positive outlet in social media, for myself and for others. I have seen some dear friends find the words to share publicly in the safe space of their online networks that they would never be able to share otherwise. It is perfectly OK to grieve in your own way.
The more we collectively talk about it, write about it, dance in it and own it rather than around it, the more we are able to normalise it rather than reject it. It can be isolating, for much of my own darkest times of grieving I was alone. I was isolated and very much in denial, too young and ‘outside of myself’ to know what was going on. It was during this time that I turned to the escape of substance abuse, self abuse and the damage that I now work every day to repair.
I hope that through sharing, talking and owning I am able to gently guide others away from taking that path. Or if you are on that path, you are able to see that there is light and hope in another direction.
If you need immediate help for overwhelming grief, I absolutely beg you to please reach out. You are never alone, you are loved and surrounded by light. Lifeline (13 11 14) is a wonderful place to start, as is right here in the comments.