Why grief is not something you have to ‘get over’
There isn’t a time limit on grief. You don’t ‘get over it’. The following video gives an explanation on how grief sits with us during our lifetime. Many thanks for taking the time to send me this Debbie. For more information please click on the link below
Nora McInerny Gives a Ted Talk about moving forward with grief. For more information please click on the link below
Hanging on to grief
Along my journey of grief just after the one year anniversary of losing Mo, something changed. It was quite subtle but noticeable. I realised that I was was crying less often, and there were longer periods when I would find my mind occupied by thoughts other than Mo. In the times that I was thinking of Mo, doing things on her website or going on forums about the loss of horses, I wasn’t feeling as deeply upset.
’That’s good’, you would think. I felt just the opposite. It was quite terrifying, I hated it once realisation of the change crept in. I didn’t want to let go of the pain, the grief.....in letting it go I felt I was losing any connection that I had with Mo. Of course, the first thing I did was research, as always. Was this what happened to people? Did it mean I was forgetting her? Did it mean I never really loved her as much as I thought I did? The list of questions and panic went on. Eventually I stumbled across a website that really did explain it all and helped me feel much better about what was happening.
It was on that particular website that I found some of the thoughts that other people had encountered with the journey of grief....
- I feel okay today, this must mean I am forgetting my loved one!
- My suffering is a sign of how much my loved one meant to me. If I’m not suffering my love for them must be diminishing!
- If I stop feeling the deep pain of grief it is a sign life can move on without my loved one and I just won’t let that be true.
- The only thing that keeps me connected to my loved one and keeps their memory alive is the deep pain of my grief.
- Any little piece of that grief that disappears is another piece of my loved one disappearing.
Moving forward with grief
So what was the way forward, what was I going to do? It felt like there were two choices. Either to be constantly in the pain of continuous grief or to lose the connection and the bond that I treasured so much.....
It was here that I found the answer to my personal dilemma. I would strongly suggest taking a look at the website, if you feel like I did. It offers a really comprehensive was of looking at things.
For me, the answer was in continuing bonds.
Many people want to continue their bond with their loved one after they have died. The ‘continuing bonds’ approach suggests that when a loved one dies, you can slowly find ways to adjust and redefine the relationship with them, allowing for a continued bond that will endure, albeit in different ways and to varying degrees, throughout your life. Continuing bonds suggest that continuing ties to loved ones in this way is not only normal and healthy, but an important aspect of the grief experience. Rather than assuming detachment as a normal grief outcome, continuing bonds considers natural human attachment as the norm even after a death. For more on this, please click below.
Here are the ways in which I have found of continuing bonds
- Written letters to Mo
- Talked about Mo to other people
- Set up and maintained Mojo’s website
- Worked on a long term project of making a scrapbook about her
Spent time working or sitting in Mojo’s memorial garden
For me personally, there are still times when I felt the need to experience and feel the pain of the grief. It has stopped me from worrying that I am losing a connection or forgetting Mo. My way of doing this has been to take two of the special photos of Mo and me that moved me emotionally more than any others. I pinned them to the inside of my wardrobe door. They are not on display, but when I need to, I go and look at them. It never fails to bring back the intense feelings I have for her and much needed tears, and it helps me to feel secure in knowing that I will never lose that connection with her....