“A family will never get over losing their loved ones. It doesn’t matter how long ago or how old the loved one was or how they died. The family lives with this pain every moment of their remaining lives.” – Narin Grewal
It takes time and practice to get good at living with loss. It will always feel surreal and alien. It will always sting like peroxide poured out onto scrapped skin. But like any physical training goes, when you started you could only run so far and now when you look behind you, you can see that you can run farther now and even further tomorrow.
Grief is a daily journey, but the confusion lies in the idea of working towards getting over it, passed it and putting it behind you. That is not necessarily what is needed. There are many losses you can grieve fully and put behind you; a loss of a job, a relationship, a possession or opportunity. These losses can be and should be worked fully through as dwelling on this type of loss can spiral you into depression and loss of self-worth.
Losing a loved one does not compare to a recoverable form of grief. You don’t recover, you don’t get over it, you don’t get passed it or put it behind you….but, and this is a big but, you need to learn how to live with it. Notice it but don’t dwell on it. Like your eye color, this loss has become a part of your physical and mental being. Not to be worn like a chip on your shoulder but rather a limp that, while at times inconvenient and painful, will not prevent you from going where you need to go and reaching your full potential.
Grieving is as much of a physical process as it is a mental one and yes painful. Very painful. Who wants to stay in a place of pain and torment? But how do you recover from the unrecoverable? Get passed what can not be gotten passed? One day at a time. Acknowledge that your goal is not to get over it but rather to live with it, and that is okay. Only take on what you can easily manage in your daily affairs to prevent from becoming easily overwhelmed. Stop and check out whenever needed to reset yourself mentally. Do not push yourself to the point of exasperation and anxiety induced panic. Be open to change, welcome it, everything is changing and will continue to do so as you move around and get to know your grief. Don’t take it personally that people do not understand. In fact, quietly allow yourself to rejoice in the fact that they don’t. This mind shift will keep you in a positive place and prevent perpetual frustration. Forgive yourself for the inevitable mistakes you will make along the way and be forgiving to others for theirs. You are already holding on to enough painful feelings to allow for the bitterness of unforgiveness to weight you down even more. But most of all, I repeat, take it one day at a time and take it easy on yourself. You are, even on your worst days, doing the best you can and will continue to better.