Saturday, April 13, 2019

Moving On vs Moving Forward with Grief

We don’t MOVE ON from grief. We MOVE FORWARD with it. That which the grief reflects are not moments to leave behind? No! They are still so present that we begin to use the present tense when talking about them. They are indelible and present. We have moved forward to continue living but also with our dead one in tow.

The progress towards a person’s death stays with you. The love stays with you. When you go through years of watching the person you love become less and suffer through it, it stays with you. The final moment when the person you love is no longer there in his body, it stays with you. Forever!

When you finally fall in love with someone who gets you, who sees you and helps you see yourself, it stays with you. Love is so quiet. Love is an invisible thread of calm that connects us even when things are chaotic all around us. 

Even after he is gone, the love stays with you. Certain memories always stay with you; always are sad, always hurt. Certain memories always stay with you; always make you laugh, always make you smile. Grief doesn’t happen in a vacuum, it happens alongside and mixed in with so many other emotions and memories and in the continuation of life. 

As you continue your life, it is like there are alternate universes. Two parallel plot lines. Life and loss for the past, life and loss in the present, and life and loss in the future. They are not opposing forces, they are strands to the same thread. 

Grief and loss may not be the current center of one’s current life. One does not have to close oneself around the loss, one continues to live. But we still talk about the past and our loss; because these are the experiences that make us, mark us; just as much as the joyful ones and just as permanently.

Long after others can see your grief, it continues. Grief is not a moment but rather chronic, lifelong condition. You don’t understand it until you do it. Then you get it! So we need to remember that not all things can be fixed and that all wounds are meant to heal. We need each other to help us remember and to tell our stories. 

So try not to fear talking about grief with someone who is grieving. Maybe all you need to do is listen to their story and/or just hold their hand. If you are the grief-adjacent person vs the grief-stricken person, you will appreciate and understand the importance of being brave enough to listen and to be there when it is your turn, and believe me, your turn will come.

We all die and everyone we love will eventually leave us if we haven't already left them! Live life to its fullest, love others to your fullest, and grieve the changes as you must.

Paraphrased and added to from Nora Mc Inerny at TED Women 2018

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