This image is SO true! We always talk to moms and dads and surviving siblings about the confusing way grief works. And it is very different from what we want it to be, and what our culture tells us it will be.
The key word in the image with this blog is “work.” Grief is work! There’s no way around it. Our culture tells us there’s a starting point to our grief, and an ending moment. As counselors we sometimes confuse the issue when we talk about the phases of grief. The phases imply a starting point, and a finishing moment. I wish this was true, but it isn’t.
Grief is more often a journey of twists and unexpected turns. One day you’re whistling to yourself, the next you can’t even get out of bed. And this can be happening months and months after your loved one has died. In fact, this can happen years after your loved one has died.
That’s why we tell moms and dads that the grief after a child dies is a life-long journey. It’s not that the pain never ends - it does. It’s not that the tears never go away - they do. But from time to time we’re reminded of our loved one that has died. Perhaps it’s a picture on the wall. Or possibly a song on the radio as you’re driving along. Perhaps it’s a family gathering at a holiday. Perhaps it’s a scene in a movie or on TV, and you’re right back at the moment of your loved one’s death. It happens. And it’s normal. Deep love really does bring deep pain after our child dies. As Judy often says, “The more you love, the more you hurt.”
So if you’re finding yourself confused today, or unable to stop the tears from flowing, know this - you’re normal. Grief really does look like the right side of the image with this blog. No strait lines here. Just twists and turns, ups and downs, ins and outs.
If you’re struggling today, take a deep breath and give yourself some slack. Grief moments come, and grief moments go away. But having said that, if your grief just simply isn’t going away please seek some type of structured help. We’d love to have you come to Smile Again Ministries retreat center. If you can’t do that, please consider reaching out to someone closer to you. Don’t walk this journey alone.
Thanks to everyone who is helping a grieving person along in their journey. Just remember, it’s not a quick road, or a 100 yard dash to the finish line. Grief is a marathon. God bless, and remember, we love you guys, Pat & Judy