“Once you have experienced the seriousness of your loss,
You can experience the wonder of being alive.”
- Robert Veninga
Deep grief can only be the product of a deep love or connection. In a sense, we are lucky to have had something so special with someone that we grieve so deeply for the loss of them in our lives. Given the choice in the beginning of that relationship, would we choose not to have their love in order to forego the grief that would come some day? Or would we choose to live a full life of happiness, love and eventually, loss? Most of us do not enter any relationship wondering how or when it will end. Maybe we should consider it just a normal life process, but dwelling on it would prevent us from truly enjoying that relationship, that person, that moment.
After a loss, living seems impossible. Simple, daily tasks become confusing, meaningless. Making decisions about groceries or what to watch on the television are difficult. Eating, sleeping, driving, working, all seem challenging and everything seems “cloudy”.
Our society does not teach us how to deal with dying, death and grief. We don’t learn what grief is, how to grieve, how long it takes. Family and friends often avoid talking about the deceased because they don’t want to make us “sad”…as if we aren’t already sad. We are great at avoiding difficult topics and death is at the top of the list. If you know someone who has had a great loss, ask them how they are and listen to their response, give them a hug, ask them if you can take them to lunch or help with their yard work.
We need to actively grieve for our loved one. We need to remember, be sad, and cry. We need to acknowledge not only the actual loss of the person, but the loss of the future we envisioned with that person and every moment we imagined them in. Grief is a difficult process, but just like love, it is part of life. The goal is to move beyond the deep grief to a place where joy is possible again. To be able to fully experience the grief and all that comes with it, we must be open to it and give it a place in our daily lives. Then we can begin to heal and feel the joy and wonder that can return to our lives.