If there was one thing that I wished someone would have told me about grief is that it never goes away. Grief never goes away. Not completely. I expected it to dissipate and slow down. Time heals all wounds, right?
I think I had this expectation in my head, a picture, of what grief looks like. That it would fade over time and go away. So when it did not start fading away, I became frustrated and angry. I just wanted to feel better, normal, whatever that meant. I did not want to feel the grief and all the emotions that came with it. I kept asking myself and wondering why isn’t this grief feeling lighter or fading away yet? I so badly wanted to move on from it. Your world turned upside down but the world keeps spinning and people go on with their life. I wanted so badly to do the same.
I had a couple of friends who were widows before me. I watched them bravely speak about their experience and journey. I would think wow, I can’t even imagine that happening. But I found myself drawn to their stories and wanting to pray for them. As soon as it did happen to me I knew who to reach to and ask questions and just talk. They were beacons of hope for me and a source of encouragement. Grief is not something everyone likes to talk about. It’s uncomfortable, messy and we tend to run from it. So I was so incredibly blessed to have them and groups where I could talk with others in my situation.
One day, after a therapy session, I realized that if I have to live with grief then I guess I shall try to embrace it. Like it is an old friend of mine. I tried to feel the emotions and deal with what it gave me. It is tough work. Some days really sucked! Some days I found joy amidst the pain. I am still working through it, but I have the tools and skills to help me that I have learned. I also spend a lot of time praying and posting scriptures and poems on my bathroom mirror or walls to encourage me. Journaling is a huge help and helps the process.
I started seeing a different picture in my head. Grief is like a storm. A storm of emotions, chaos and confusion. I am the captain of my boat trying to navigate through the storm in uncharted waters. I have to learn how to navigate through the storms. For me the storms come fewer and farther between but I never know when one might hit. Grief never goes away, we just have to learn how to navigate the waters.