I recently read a book that claims that grief is an event, and that it is possible to heal from a loss. I have to say I was kind of bugged by that. It feels more true that grief stays around forever and describing it as an event seems to minimize the impact of loss. But when I really think about it, I think they are both true. Early grief ends, and the fog starts to lift. Life starts to seem doable. I feel like I’m kind of still in early grief, but I’m also not in a place where it is all consuming like it once was. I sometimes go back to the times where it was all consuming, but it feels less and less often.
Even the author of this book talked about how things still pop up to remind her of her loss. I call that grief, but maybe she doesn’t. She says her grief is over and that she has healed from it. I feel that she has learned to carry it but is still affected by grief as evidenced by still being affected by her loss. I think if we were to have a conversation, she would agree with me, and I would agree with her, even though the things she wrote in her book irked me a little. In the end, maybe we all agree a little more than we think, but we don’t use the same words to explain how we feel.
Happiness is possible after a loss, but grief forever changes you. I don’t think it’s something you can understand unless you have experienced a significant loss. For me, a day will not go by that I don’t think of him. I am reminded of him by the most simple things. I am taken back in ways I never was before the loss. My sadness is triggered very easily. I am tender and easily slip into a downward spiral. I don’t expect that to end completely, but I do think it will change as time goes on. I also expect to be happy and build a beautiful life, even though he isn’t here.
In the end, I think that maybe we need to try not to get hung up on other peoples’ words and see where we are the same. Maybe we actually have more in common than we think.