“Grief is like a long valley, a winding valley where any bend may reveal a totally new landscape…. there is something new to be chronicled every day.” CS Lewis adaptation
It can be so hard to explain to others or even get our own heads around the experience that is grief. It is so all consuming in the early days, so devastating, so terribly difficult. How would we begin to describe something that affects us on every level of our being?
If I were to describe grief from a detached viewpoint and clinical perspective, I might say something like this.
“Grief is the physical, emotional and spiritual response we have when we lose someone of something that we care deeply about.”
Simple, cut and dried. No emotion. Very detached. You may have come across similar descriptions yourself.
If I were to describe grief from my own perspective, as someone who has experienced great tragedy and loss, I would say something like this:
“Grief is something that lands in our life like a 5-ton block of concrete. Pinning us down, crying and screaming. Its immense power holds us fast. We can’t move. We gasp for breath. One hand alone has remained free from the load. It reaches out for help, but can’t quite grasp onto anything.One hand stays reaching out forever.”
“Grief is the pain of loss that assaults us on every level of our being.”
“Grief is what makes me remember with love and hold memories tight.”
“Grief is the song that cries alone in the dark.”
“Grief is the pain that comes from being powerless to change what has happened.”
When we experience anything tumultuous in our lives, it is emotive and lives within us. If you were to sit down and write for 5 minutes under the heading Grief is………… the words would come out and spring onto the paper. Emotions are powerful. Love, anger, grief. They bid expression in some way or another. It is no surprise then that so many people experiencing loss turn to writing as a way to voice what they feel in their heart. They give the pain of grief words.
“When grief recedes, grief is like a cloud” Tom Golden
“Grief is a tidal wave that over takes you,
smashes down upon you with unimaginable force,
sweeps you up into its darkness,
where you tumble and crash against unidentifiable surfaces,
only to be thrown out on an unknown beach, bruised, reshaped…” Stephanie Ericsson
“Grief is the price we pay for love. Every mother dreads that cost.” Sarah Sands
“Grief is like a tsunami” Jemma Redgrave
“Grief is like the ocean; it’s deep and dark and bigger than all of us. And pain is like a thief in the night. Quiet. Persistent. Unfair. Diminished by time and faith and love.” One Tree Hill
What would you say if you had to fill in the blanks?
GRIEF IS …………