Saturday, October 12, 2013

Will it ever be the same again?

Sorry, but it can never be the same again...   (author unknown)

When a child of ours has died, or any one else whom we love for that matter, we hope and even pray 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 initial shock and sense of total denial of the initial few months begin to pass, the enormous and sad reality begins to become clear and 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 our new reality.  But life does go on and we don’t have a choice – we will and must go through this. 

What seems to complicate our grief is that once a few months have passed, many of those around us – our friend, co-workers and even family members, feel we are “getting better” and “moving on” but we know that’s so far from the truth – 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…  So 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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