September 12, 2012

41 things I have learnt about grief

1. Nothing prepares you for the experience of grief. 

2. There is a before and an after. Everything else is punctuated by that moment.

3. Not everything happens for a reason.

4.  Time does not heal all wounds.

5.  You don't suddenly wake up one day to find that you have been healed. 

6.  You have to work damn hard for the smallest healing to occur.

7.  Today you might take one step forward. Tomorrow you might take ten steps back.

8. For a long time, there will be more bad days than good days. 

9. You cannot fight grief. The best thing you can do is surrender.

10. Grief is complicated, especially when death is sudden and unexpected. 

11. There will be many milestones. Be patient. 

12. Grief changes you forever and you must be willing to let go of who you were before.

13. You are no longer the same person and that means that you have grown.

14. Strange things are born out of grief. There are lessons in the darkest places.

15. The intensity of grief does not diminish overtime, but the episodes will become less frequent. 

16. You will not always be consumed by this experience. 

17. One day, you will catch yourself laughing again. Avoid the temptation to feel guilty. 

18. At some point down the track (and only you will know when you get there), you will be faced with a choice. Choose to reclaim your life. 

19. You are still here. Make that count for something. 

20. Be creative and find ways to channel your sorrow. 

21. The most beautiful works are born out of pain. 

22. You will be surprised by some friends and disappointed in others.

23. A real friend will show up for you. 

24. A crap friend will always be too busy to listen to you on a bad day. 

25. Grief can make people feel uncomfortable. Fight the temptation to take that personally.

26. Cliches about grief are not founded in any kind of truth. They just make people feel less      awkward around the grieving.

27. Cliches about grief do not make the grieving feel better. They just make them feel awkward.

28. Grief is an isolating and solitary experience. It needn't be. 

29.  If you know someone who is grieving, then acknowledge their experience.  Mentioning the subject will not upset them. Not mentioning it will. 

30. Politeness is wasted on the grieving. Grief is raw and brutal. All the bullshit just falls away. 

31. You cannot upset a grieving person by raising the subject of their loss. It's not like you went ahead and reminded them about something they had temporarily forgotten. 

32. When someone you love is grieving, make an effort to hold the same space with them. Avoid smalltalk and Keep it real. Even if it makes you feel uncomfortable. 

33.  My partner is dead. That does not make him my 'ex'. When he died he was very much my partner.

34. A relationship ending because it fell apart is not the same thing as a relationship ending because someone died. In 2 years or 10 years you might catch up for a coffee and in the meantime you have hope. 

35. Saying that your partner may as well be dead because he broke up with you is not the same thing as him actually being dead. He can still laugh, cry, be happy and live his life. 

36. The hardest thing about grief is the absolute absence of hope. 

37. If you love someone, then tell them while they are still alive.  

38. Don't say anything you might regret. Unfinished business will always remain unfinished.

39. Death is final. You cannot beg, plead, cry or bargain your way around that.

40. I'd still do anything to see him one more time. I'd even settle for a 5 second phone call.

41. It's always darkest before the dawn.

1 comment:

Paul Christiansen said...

Ooh. #40 made my heart lurch. Very touching all 'round. I hope you and your children and doing okay.