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Bereavement and Depression 4 of 4. Saturday November 8, 2014

Recovering From Grief.

Eventually, it doesn't hurt quite so much.
Eventually you go for hours, days, even weeks without thinking of the person who has gone.
Eventually the sun shines and you are happy again.

It may take months, or a year, or several years.

It doesn't mean the lost or dead person comes back, and while you are in the throes of grief it does seem as if you can never be happy again and that life simply cannot go on – but it does.

You learn to cope without that person, as an amputee learns to walk with an artificial limb or to manage life in a wheelchair.

Of course, the amputee has a choice whether to bitterly resent that wheelchair or to learn tricks in it and enter wheelchair marathons. People suffering grief and the pain of loss have that same choice.

There is no magic formula for determining how long your suffering will last. A friend of mine who sadly lost her husband to cancer remarried with great happiness eighteen months later. I'm sure it helped that she and her late husband had said all that needed to be said, that they had grieved together while he was ill and that she knew she had his blessing to seek another partner.

It took me four years to recover from my divorce; I had a lot of bitterness and resentment to get through first before I was ready to heal.

It can take a long time to get to that place of healing, and sometimes we might be reluctant to get there because it seems disloyal; it seems as if we are admitting that we didn't really love if we no longer grieve.

But life is like a river that inexorably sweeps us past stationary events. Even the great and traumatic events retreat as we move on. If we try to hold onto them against the flow all that happens is that the rest of life passes us by, flotsam and decayed weeds start to build up on us and we get very sore arms. It's just not healthy!

Grief is natural, but so too is the eventual recovery from grief and the regaining of happiness.

Hopefully we have good memories of our lost one.

We can keep these as we float downstream to the rest of our life.

Much nicer than collecting rotting weeds and cast-off crisp packets.

Mary
A Moodscope member.


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Comments

Di Murphey Sat, Nov 8th 2014 @ 6:10am

My dearest Mary-Oh-Mary,
I may sound like a broken record, yet I will venture again to say that one idea of which to hold is, what might that person who has passed, wish for us? How might they want us to continue?

Certainly not steeped in grief. They might ask that we thrive.

You are amazing.
Lovingly,
Di Murphey

Hopeful One Sat, Nov 8th 2014 @ 7:00am

Dear Mary-Thank you for a wonderful series of posts.That together with all the responses to each post detailing the poignant experiences of other Moodscopers has heartened me. I now try and walk with chin up and shoulders square leaving little space for despair -today,tomorrow or anywhere

Anonymous Sat, Nov 8th 2014 @ 11:13am

Dear Mary - excellent and enlightening posts; if only I had had these wonderful words of wisdom when I was grieving; at times we learn the hard way. Hubby likens grieving to waves; sometimes they lap gently round your feet; sometimes you are wading through them with the occasional larger wave splashing your face; sometimes you struggle to keep your head above water as they threaten to submerge you completely; but no two days are ever exactly the same. I found it helpful to keep a diary when I was grieving and note down positives as well as negatives; I also wrote a "letter" to my father so that I could say all that I wanted to say - this was particularly helpful in letting him "go". Thank-you again, Mary, for sharing your experience with us which will be hugely helpful to many. Frankie

Anonymous Sat, Nov 8th 2014 @ 1:06pm

Well done, once again, Mary. An excellent blog which will be helpful to so many.

Mary Sat, Nov 8th 2014 @ 2:00pm

Thank you so much for your generous encouragement, Di. These posts were hard to write and I am so pleased that other people have found them helpful. Your comments have been lovely. You are much appreciated.

Mary Sat, Nov 8th 2014 @ 2:02pm

If anyone knows about this, you do. I am so pleased that you have found these posts helpful. I wish you strength with your own personal recovery and journey.

Mary Sat, Nov 8th 2014 @ 2:02pm

An excellent analogy. It is exactly like that.

Anonymous Sat, Nov 8th 2014 @ 2:03pm

As you said recovery and regaining of happiness is so critical to all of us....Dave

Anonymous Sat, Nov 8th 2014 @ 8:36pm

Beautifully written, and entirely accurate! Thank you x

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