Changing your grieving story
I’ve been reflecting on some pretty deep issues the last little while. Things like the meaning of pain and how we react to pain and grieving.
Two years after my son took his life, I was sick of grieving. I was fed up to my blood-shot, tear stained eyes with it all. The burden of grief sometimes just seems too heavy to bear much longer. I was thinking about this and inwardly complaining. The whining went something like this: Oh God, please take this pain away, help me to not feel this constant sense of loss and grieve, I’m so done.
Grief is such a physical thing, it disrupts sleeping patterns, causes people to eat too little or too much, can produce headaches and mood swings, to mention just a few.
Usually when our bodies react to something physically, it is a warning signal or an alert of some kind. Growling stomach – eat. Dry mouth – drink. Excruciating pain in your arm – broken arm. But what about the symptoms of grief? What are they trying to tell us?
Grief tells us we have lost something very important.
Now lets go back to my impatience with my grief. As soon as I imagined a short grieving period for my son; I took three to six months to grieve and then I was back to normal. I experience a profound sense of sadness and the realization that a short grieving period would be so very wrong. It would not do my son or his life justice. It would mean that he didn’t really have a big impact or great meaning in my life. And that is so very wrong.
What if I stopped wanting to get away from the grief, but rather I embraced it? I’m not talking about wallowing in an unhealthy way, but rather accepted it as part of where I am right now and let it be. What if, at this point in my journey, I stopped fighting it and instead lived with the grief as a testament to my son’s importance?