“The answer to the pain of grief is not how to get yourself out of it, but how to support yourself inside it.” ~Unknown
We can not avoid the pain of grief. Grief is not something we get over or out of. We do not forget our loved ones, not their lives and not their deaths. We love, we remember, we miss, we honor. In time, we learn to support ourselves in our grief while rebuilding our lives.
Learning to live with grief is a delicate dance. It is the dance of duality. To miss and to remember. To feel vulnerable and brave. To feel overwhelmed and competent. To long for what was and to take steps forward.
Honoring the people we love as part of their legacy is important and in many ways reflected in our ability to create a fulfilling life living forward.
Grief is personal. There is no timeline or roadmap, just experiential day by day resilience. It takes guts, courage, and true grit to live with grief. To live and grieve. This duality, this dance, is a bittersweet reality forevermore.
Talking about our loved one keeps the connection strong. Sharing memories, funny or poignant stories, incorporating ritual, enjoying their favorites, are healthy strategies to maintain positive remembrance.
It is true that as time moves on others return to their normal which can feel like abandonment. It is not. Continue to talk about your loved one.Those who love you have not, and will not, forget that your loved one lived and that their life matters, always and forever.
Find ways to hold your loved one close while engaging in life in ways that connect, inspire, lift, and challenge you creatively, bravely and differently.
Life will never be what it was. It never is. Focusing on and comparing your life to before prevents you from recognizing how life can be meaningful still, now, and moving forward. Acknowledge every step taken, choice made, challenge met since your loved one died. Connect to and lead from your courage, resilience, strength. Your ability to adapt and cope forward (even though you don’t want to and wish it wasn’t necessary) is you taking the lead in this dance.
Feeling joy. Engaging in activities once shared or new. Making new connections or strengthening old. Making self-care a part of your daily ritual without guilt. You are alive and are living forward firmly rooted in the knowing that you being present (supporting and caring for yourself ) is not a betrayal of your love and missing but rather a reflection of your vitality and ability to live forward in duality. This is a super power! This is trust in yourself! This is the knowing that your connection is not stronger in suffering but in supporting yourself in living forward. This is the dance of duality.