Is everyone waiting for you to recover from your loss?
Maybe that's what it feels like.
Do you feel as if your close friends are watching you to feel into how you're doing?
Do you feel like your family members are hurrying you to "get over" your grief?
Do you feel like you're disappointing them all because your grief seems never-ending?
I get it. I felt the same way when I was grieving my mother's death in January 2009. I seemed to be sad forever.
My husband asked me this question one day. "How long are you going to cry like this?" And I replied, "I don't know. As long as there are tears to cry, I guess."
The journey of loss is not a sprint; it's a marathon.
We don't outrun grief. We don't get over it. We don't move on.
We let grief dictate our daily pace.
If that means, you don't have the energy to do it all, you let yourself be. If it means missing an outing with friends, you have to be okay with that. If it means, you have to stay in bed longer, give yourself permission to do so.
We allow her to reshape us.
Our heart expands because we now know loss and we feel deeply into others' losses. We know a level of compassion because this awful thing happened to us. We find new reserves of empathy we didn't know we had inside us.
We open to new wisdom.
Grief and loss invite us to dig deep. We're filled with questions. Why? Why now? How can I make peace with this? When will I heal?
Over time, with new understanding, we learn that loss isn't cosmic punishment. It's not about feeling resentful for not being rewarded for good behavior.
- Grief is a profound invitation to learn and unlearn. We ignore her at our own peril.
- Grief isn't an illness we recover from. Rather, grief causes us to shed our old skin and grow a new one.
- Grief reshapes the size of our being. We are remade so that we can take this new learning and serve the world.
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