How To Grieve Well In A World That Wants You To Move On
Grief can feel like a tidal pull, like an infinitesimally thin elastic sphere forcing and distorting our reality over and over again without us ever being in control. It can feel like being crushed and trapped in the bowels of a collapsed building, choking for air through the dust and weight. Grief can feel desperately lonely as if in one deafening crack, we calved from the glacier that has given us strength and security for a millennium.
You cannot live without experiencing grief in thousands of ways.
There are small griefs like the disappointment of your spouse letting you down. There are large griefs like the deep and unending hole of losing someone you love.
No one is immune and no one can pull a get-out-of-grief-free card. If you are planning on living a full life, you will at some point, find yourself ensnared in the barbs of grief.
While no one has all the answers around grief, we do know that no two people experience grief in the same way. You do your grief, I’ll do mine.
The commonality among us is that grief terrifies us all.
We may look fine from the outside, but we are all walking around terrified of losing the ones we love, terrified of losing our jobs. We are in agony over the loss of someone dear to us. We are trying to make sense of rejection. We hate to even consider our capacity for enduring grief. How much can we take before our suffering ravages our body, leaving behind only a shell?
And if our own fears don’t cripple us, witnessing others in the suffering of grief is soul-crushing.
We tread lightly around grieving people afraid we will make things worse by saying or doing the wrong thing. If we are brave enough to walk beside someone who has fallen down the well of despair, more often than not we feel helpless, unable to make the pain disappear. There aren’t enough words, potions, or money that can heal a loved one’s grief.
No wonder many people avoid those who are grieving. No wonder why many people grieve alone. It is all just so messy.
Grief is ugly, with its snotty nose, swollen eyes, vacant stares, and flashes of rage, rudeness, mania…