#1 Each experience of grief is as individual as the tie that has been severed. One thing however, remains common to each – the unalterable finality of death. The fact that no matter how sudden or how forewarned, a loved one is gone from this life forever.
#2 Grief is often thought of as one emotion. In reality, it involves a whole mixed bag of emotions – many of them conflicting.
#3 An autopilot system you didn’t even know you had kicks in. From planning a funeral to collecting ashes for internment, packing up personal effects to notifying relevant companies of your loved one’s death, you get through tasks that you once wouldn’t have believed possible.
#4 It’s incredibly lonely. You are surrounded by family and friends, all of whom are desperate to do whatever they can to help (and many of who do help immeasurably), but the one person you long to turn to above anybody else is no longer there to turn to.
#5 At its lowest ebb grief can go beyond the psychological. The craving for your loved one can become so intense that at times it feels more like a physical pain.
#6 It can feel like two lives ended: the life of your loved one and the life that you shared together.
#7 “The best way out is always through,” Robert Frost 1874-1963. Grief can’t be avoided, fast-tracked or leapfrogged. It will simply sit and wait until you are ready to give in to the process that your mind and body need to take you through in order to heal.
#8 From your greatest loss can come your most valuable lessons. Out goes the old naivety that these things happen to other people and in comes a new, more mature perspective – including a greater appreciation of what’s important in life and what’s not, and the need to spend what time you do have wisely.
#9 There are moments where you question whether you will ever feel genuine happiness again. But you will and when you do it will feel all the sweeter for having been estranged from the sensation for so long.
#10 Some days it seems to get worse rather than better. The healing process isn’t a steady incline. There are dips along the way. Good days, bad days then back to good again – it’s all part of the journey to re-build you until life no longer feels like your new life, it just feels like life.
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