I have some friends that are hurting. Each are grieving in their own way. Each situation is different.
However, there are some commonalities that I’ve found when dealing with deep grief.
First, the situation bites. I don’t care what it is, if it leads to a deep, overwhelming grief; it has to be one of the worst things ever. In that all of the situations are unique we have added the feeling of isolation. Again this bites. I would use a stronger word, but this is a family friendly blog. That people feel alone, isolated in their grief multiplies the pain.
I’ve noticed that sharing our grief helps. It isn’t natural to share it, it doesn’t feel right to share it, we might be embarrassed to share it. But, commiserating together really does have a healing affect. I’ve seen those people “trying to be strong,” hurting themselves the most in the long run.
I’ve noticed that things never go back to the way they were. We may want things to get back to the way they were, but it never happens.
I’ve seen a “new normal” develop. Part of this means that enough time has lapsed that the waves of grief are pounding upon us with less frequency than in the beginning. We have time to breath in between the waves of emotion. Sure, they still come; but it might be days, weeks, or even months between the bouts of emotion. Secondly, we learn to function in the midst of the pain. We’re able to go to work, be with family, do what we need to do and not be crippled by the all consuming pain. Lastly, we notice that while the pain is still there it may have changed. We still remember our loved one, or the way before the accident, or what a relationship was like before the abuse, but the pain isn’t as sharp and stabbing as before. We are able to celebrate the life that was lost, the innocence gone by, instead of just grieving the absence. We find a “new normal.”
Finally, our grief becomes something we can share. Not in the hopes of self-healing, but in helping others. Even though your situation was unique, there is enough commonality found with others that you can truly empathize with them. You can begin to understand, though never comprehending fully, what they are going through. You can be their rock, their shoulder to cry on, even “Jesus with flesh on” that they can rage against in the midst of their deep pain.
Sometimes, that is a horribly great place to be in. You might be the only one there God has to love that person with.