So many people I know and love are grieving at the moment. I have been absorbed in my own grief for the past two years after my friend was killed in a tragic theme park accident. Dealing with grief has been one of the hardest things I’ve experienced. So to witness my loved ones experiencing it now is tough. There is nothing I can say or do to make it better for them.
My husband’s cherished grandmother passed away very recently. The grief has hit him hard. For many years she has been warning the family that she won’t be around the for the next Christmas. So I guess in a way we all thought we were prepared for this. But you can never really be prepared to lose someone you love, regardless of their age or the circumstances leading to their death.
Other friends and loved ones have recently lost their dads, their mums, their brothers, their sisters, their partners, their pets, their mates. And they weren’t prepared either. In fact, most of the deaths were sudden and unexpected.
Grief is an emotion that can have more power than anything you’ve experienced before. It hits you when you least expect it. A smell, a song, an object, a phrase… tiny details that trigger massive waves of emotion.
Not the kind of waves that lap at the shore, either. The kind that knock you over, drag you under, and throw you around until you don’t know which way will bring you back up to the air.
Over time, you might learn to let the wave drag you under. You’ll learn to stop fighting it, just give in to it, knowing that once it does its thing, you’ll eventually float back up to the surface.
Soon, you’ll start to see the wave coming, and you might learn to swim into it, making it a much less frightening experience. Eventually, the waves will mostly just lap at the shore. Consistent, frequent, but manageable.
And then it will only be the very occasional moments that you’ll get hit by a strong one again when you’re not looking. You’ll be dragged under, tossed around, and eventually come back up for air thinking, “where the hell did that come from?”
They say grief is the price we pay for love. When you’re experiencing grief, it makes love seem too expensive. Like if you knew it was going to cost this much, maybe you would have left it on the shelf. But in time, when the initial pain has dulled a little, you remember all the happiness. You realise that the value of the love was much higher than the cost.
So surrender to the ocean of grief. Love will be your lifebuoy.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Grief is a very normal and healthy emotion and process. But if you are having difficulty dealing with your grief and need support, please speak with a professional or someone you trust.