Grief is a journey that grows you. We learn about the five stages of grief. We read about how the second year might feel when compared to the first. We want to get to 2022 because we believe we will be feeling much better then.
What if you could let go of the need for a clear path...and let grief be a walk in the wilderness that it is?
What if you let the path unfold and get to where it’s taking you instead of needing to know how many miles you still have to cover?
So much of the tension in the grieving process comes from our need to “figure it all out.”
When will this be over?
When will I get to my healing destination?
How much longer will I continue to feel so bad?
And then you go info-shopping: podcasts, books, talking in your support groups. You ask around, and others share what they know to be true. But then your experience turns out to be completely different. You feel worse during year two instead of better.
Now, all of a sudden, you think the thought: Something is wrong with me.
And very quickly, you spiral downward from there. You’re convinced you’re doing something wrong; your grief is complicated and you’re destined to a lifetime of suffering; you’re missing a vital gene that others have that helps them recover from this horrible feeling.
You see what I’m saying?
The thing is, those who told you what they did, were not wrong. Nor do they have a special gene you’re missing. They’re simply speaking from their own experience. And your experience cannot be theirs. Because your grief is not theirs either. It’s yours alone. It springs from your own unique situation, your psyche, where and how you grew up, the relationship you had with the one who died or left you.
So don’t worry about the miles you still have to travel. It’s your journey. Take the steps you have to. It’s not about rushing to the destination. It’s about living the experience, learning, and growing through it.
Grief can’t be figured out. It can only be lived.