Bereavement and Depression 4 of 4.

8 Nov 2014

Recovering From Grief.

Eventually, it doesn't hurt quite so much.

Eventually you go for hours, days, even weeks without thinking of the person who has gone.

Eventually the sun shines and you are happy again.

It may take months, or a year, or several years.

It doesn't mean the lost or dead person comes back, and while you are in the throes of grief it does seem as if you can never be happy again and that life simply cannot go on – but it does.

You learn to cope without that person, as an amputee learns to walk with an artificial limb or to manage life in a wheelchair.

Of course, the amputee has a choice whether to bitterly resent that wheelchair or to learn tricks in it and enter wheelchair marathons. People suffering grief and the pain of loss have that same choice.

There is no magic formula for determining how long your suffering will last. A friend of mine who sadly lost her husband to cancer remarried with great happiness eighteen months later. I'm sure it helped that she and her late husband had said all that needed to be said, that they had grieved together while he was ill and that she knew she had his blessing to seek another partner.

It took me four years to recover from my divorce; I had a lot of bitterness and resentment to get through first before I was ready to heal.

It can take a long time to get to that place of healing, and sometimes we might be reluctant to get there because it seems disloyal; it seems as if we are admitting that we didn't really love if we no longer grieve.

But life is like a river that inexorably sweeps us past stationary events. Even the great and traumatic events retreat as we move on. If we try to hold onto them against the flow all that happens is that the rest of life passes us by, flotsam and decayed weeds start to build up on us and we get very sore arms. It's just not healthy!

Grief is natural, but so too is the eventual recovery from grief and the regaining of happiness.

Hopefully we have good memories of our lost one.

We can keep these as we float downstream to the rest of our life.

Much nicer than collecting rotting weeds and cast-off crisp packets.


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