Wednesday, September 15, 2010

It will never be the same…..

Unrealistically we hope that things will somehow be the same…that our life – our family – will get back to “normal” As time goes on, we realize that “it will never be the same.” We will always miss our loved one who has died. At special holidays and family gatherings, there is always one person missing. Some family members and friends assume that we are back to normal. They just do not understand.

Once the horrific immediate shock and sense of total denial of those first few months after our child has died begin to pass, the enormous and sad reality starts to become painfully clear.  For most of us, that is the time that seems the most difficult. Our grief seems unbearable and we wonder if our heartache and sorrow is and will forever be "our new reality". But we have no choice - life does go on .  We will and must go through this journey, no matter how painful, it is the price paid for loving someone the way we loved our child.

What seems to complicate our grief is that once those first several months pass, many of those around us – our friends, co-workers and even family members, feel we are or should be “getting better” and “moving on” but we know that’s so far from the truth.  For most, we are simply surviving and existing or when we don’t “get over it quickly enough” many people who we assumed would be there for us, pull away out f their own frustration of no knowing how and what to do to help us.

This is so common. It is believed that this can be attributed in part to a general lack of knowledge of what grief is, leading to unrealistic expectations being placed on those who are grieving. Sometimes it is helpful to communicate about our loss with someone new, since some old friends often just want us to return to our old selves again, which is unrealistic on their part.

So many times during the first year of mourning, especially following the holidays or anniversary of the death, those around us, as well as those of us who are grieving, may expect that everything will finally be OK and get better… Be careful not to expect too much; because if and when things don’t magically “get better” many become discouraged. There is and never will be a timetable for grief – it is different for each and every person on this journey and different for each and every time the journey is made…

Be gentle with yourself and those around you.. It’s best not to have unrealistic expectations and remind yourself over and over again, there is no timetable for grief..

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