Bad news: you will never get over your grief. It’s the truth. You will never get over it. We don’t get over grief. We get over the flu or a cold. We don’t get over grief. We go through grief. And we learn to live with it.
There is no one final destination to reach at the “end” of your grief. No finish line to cross. Going through a grieving process is a long, slow journey with ups and downs, twists and turns, and an often foggy path ahead. Your job is to learn how to ride on this road of life with loss.
- You won’t get over your loss but you will get better at grieving. You will start to learn what triggers your grief and develop a way to brace yourself for those unpredictable ones. You’ll find a way to survive the hard moments and dare to let your guard down when you’re coasting. In a way, you are practicing how to grieve. The path will never be smooth; you’ll just learn how to drive.
- You will obviously never forget your loved one. Why would you want to? No matter how many years pass, you will always be reminded of them. Because of this happening, you will get used to being struck by these memories. The good news is that over time, you will be better able to endure the sorrow of feeling their absence while you enjoy a pleasant feeling reliving a memory.
- When you do become consumed and overwhelmed with paralyzing grief emotions, and yes – you will still have those moments, they won’t be accompanied with the fear and worry of wondering what’s wrong with you or what’s happening. You will be able to give yourself fully to feeling your emotions about your loss without any self-consciousness or judgment. This is because you’ve felt this before. You’re used to this. You recognize this as your grief. You know what to do. Grief has forced you to practice.
Throw the map away, buckle up and pump the brakes while on this journey. Pay attention to the road and note the terrain. Some of this path will become familiar over time. The road may change at times too, but you will simply become more skilled at driving it.