Thursday, July 7, 2022

Grief

Grief is a difficult part of my journey. It weaves its way through in so many different ways that I often don't even recognize or acknowledge its existence. I know that grieving the various and many losses in life is part of being human. And it's really hard.

From grieving losses related to chronic illness to losses of loved ones, I'd like to write through to try to make sense or peace with some of it. I'm not sure where this path will take me, so I'll start right where I am now.
Photo by Todd Turner on Unsplash 
Grief is so complex. It shows up in so many ways, at so many times, both expected and unexpected.

My body seems to remember anniversaries of losses, even if I don't immediately recognize the timing.

My mind has been returning to / flooded with memories very intensely in recent weeks, and I didn't realize why. Eventually, I looked at the calendar and realized that there are several deep losses within a few weeks of each other from late June to early July.

How long ago the original losses were doesn't seem to matter. Grief knows no time. It calls for experiencing and processing over and over and over. The waves sometimes seem to lessen in certain ways (like frequency or intensity), but they continue to come.

In my experience, grief can hit in different ways:
  • Specific: the loss of a certain person or thing.
  • Multiple: the loss of multiple people or things.
  • General, over-arching, all-encompassing: a sense of all of one's losses.
  • Combination: multiple ways at one time.
When multiple losses surface at the same time, the associated grief compounds. Instead of facing the grief of a single loss, which can be heavy and difficult enough, you're simultaneously facing unresolved grief of multiple or all losses. It can feel like drowning.

There's no way to shortcut grief, which really sucks. It demands to be felt. And it's in our best interest to experience and work through it, when it shows up. It sounds so simple, but I've never experienced it to be such.
 
As I face the grief of multiple losses, I'm doing my best to tread water, as the waves crash over me. I know that the storm will pass, or at least change. So, I do what I must to weather it and process what I can along the way.

“The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same nor would you want to.”
- Elizabeth K├╝bler-Ross


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