Many of those around us can't relate. Or perhaps they don't want to. We wonder if anyone cares.
From the Grieving Heart:
My heart is already broken. Why do the people around me have to crush and shatter what's left of it? Can't they see I'm hurting? Don't they care.
"Life goes on, and you need to move on." I have heard this lovely, encouraging sentiment more times and in more ways than I can count. It's a knife to my soul, a blow to my gut, every time.
Yes, life goes on. Of course. But my world has changed. You’re not in it, and that affects everything. My life feels like it's on pause, while everyone else appears to be speeding along unaffected.
Time is moving on, yes. But I'm not sure I am. And if moving on means leaving you behind, forget it.
I know I need to say goodbye. I've said goodbye to you many times already. Something deep inside me screams and aches. I miss you. I would rather say hello.
Though you’re gone, I know that you’re always with me. I carry you in my heart. Life goes on, and I am learning to go on without your physical presence.
But I don’t like it. Not one bit.
Well-meaning people can say unhelpful things.
Yes, well-meaning people can say some unhelpful and insensitive things. Perhaps there are times when what's said is even calculated to hurt. People get frustrated with our grief because it reminds them of their losses. Rather than dealing with their own pain and fears, they shove them back down inside and dole out curt advice to us instead.
Life moves on. Life is always moving. Time marches forward. But when we lose someone we love, our hearts are stunned and even paralyzed for a time. For all practical purposes, time stops for us. Our world abruptly halts. We move in a daze. We go through the motions, doing what needs to be done, but our heart and souls are elsewhere.
Grief is necessary. It is a natural and normal response to a loss. It is nature's way of healing a shattered soul. We live in a new world now, without the physical presence of someone special. Their absence hovers over us and colors everything. Recovery, whatever that means for each of us, takes time.
As we walk this unpredictable, rocky road of grief, we remember our loved one and find ways to honor them. We discover, one step at a time, how to take them with us as we walk life’s new, yet untraveled pathways. We say goodbye in some ways, but we never leave them behind.
And we never forget. We can't. We love them.
I will engage in life today as best as I can, remembering you.
Adapted from the book, Comfort for Grieving Hearts: Hope and Encouragement for Times of Loss. To watch the book video, click here.