I recently read a great article from Ashleigh Davis Bush in The Huffington Post about all the things we as grievers can’t possibly do and what we can. There are so many things that those who are not grieving think we who grieve should be doing and it’s due mainly to a lack of understanding.
Here I list what I call Ashleigh’s Five Simple Truths, based on her work as a grief therapist for over 20 years. I then compare this with the reality that you share with me every day by email, on my blog and through my Facebook page.
What Grievers Cannot Do
Truth #1: We cannot get over it.
Adjusting to devastating loss is an ongoing and lifelong process that fluctuates over time. There is no closure as such.
They think I’m grieving too long.
It makes me angry and tears me up all at the same time when they say “Aren’t you over it yet?”
My hurt is too much for them, they can’t deal with it and they’re over it really. Their time limit is up!
Truth #2: We cannot forget our loved ones
They are part of us and have been an integral part of our life, it’s impossible to forget them. We will always remember.
When I talk about her, they just look at me funny and then change the subject as if she never existed.
They talk about every other family member except him, it’s so hurtful – don’t they care?
His name’s been obliterated from their life – just like that!!
Truth #3: We cannot move on
There is no way we can just move on with our lives as if nothing has happened and they never existed, it’s impossible.
It’s so hard when they keep talking about me meeting someone else, that’s not what I want. I’m not anywhere near ready for that yet.
My friends keep telling me to move on. How can I move on when all I want is back there?
I can’t even begin to think about moving on – I hate that word.
Truth #4: We cannot be our old selves again
If only we could but our loss has changed us forever, there can never be the old us ever again.
It’s like they’re waiting for me to get back to my old self then everything will be OK again.
My family keep saying they don’t like seeing me like this as if they are wishing for the moment when I reappear again and all will be well.
I don’t think they get the fact that this has changed me forever; there is no going back to who I once was.
Truth #5: We cannot stop hurting
As much as we would wish it otherwise the painful feelings of our grief will erupt again and again over the years.
What are you crying for?
That was five years ago – a LONG time!
You really need to get a grip on your feelings.
It is so very affirming to read something that we know deep in our heart to be a reflection of all that we are going through. I hope that many people, not just those who grieve, will begin to understand that our loss and our great love is something that moulds and shapes us forever.
I’d love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below.