When someone you love has died, there are few words that capture grief’s intensity. Despair, anguish, and devastation come to mind but even these seem inadequate.
“Why does grief hurt so much? Why is this grief so incapacitating? If only the hurt weren’t so crushing.”
Sound familiar to any of you reading this article? All of us have known hurts before, but none of our previous” ouches” can compare with the hurt we are feeling right now. Nothing can touch the pain of burying a child, a spouse, or any loved one.
Yet, most of us have discovered that the sun still comes up each morning, and world still goes on, even when our world seems to be standing still. We too, still have to function. We did not die when our loved one did, even though we wished we could have.
So, we are stuck with this pain, this grief, and what do we do with it? Surely we can’t live like this forever! We pray that this pain would just stop.
There are no magic formulas for surviving grief. There are a few commonly recognized patterns for grief, but even those are only guide-lines. What we do know is that the emptiness will never go away. It will become tolerable and liveable some day. There will be a day when we will see the sun shine and hear the birds sing again; and the death of your loved one will not be the first thought on your mind each day.
TIME the longest and hardest word in our grieving process. We use TIME to measure so many milestones: The first words spoken, the first steps taken. Time measures our days and world in so many different ways.
So what is that we need to do now?
I encourage you to please give yourselves TIME to hurt, TIME to grieve, and TIME to cry and TIME to remember. Be nice to yourself! Don’t measure your progress against anyone else’s grief. Be your own timekeeper, and use your TIME wisely.
If at all possible change your focus a bit. Instead of dwelling on how much you lost – try thinking the good memories. We didn’t lose a loved one. HE/SHE DIED. We didn’t lose the love that flowed between us; it still flows, but somewhat differently now. Grief is the price we pay for love. And as much as it hurts, I am sure you are glad to have known and loved this person which has died.
Don’t let death cast ugly shadows, but rather warm memories of loving times you shared. Even though death comes, LOVE NEVER GOES AWAY! -Darcie D. Sims, Ph.D.
Margaret Anne Yost nursed for 35 years, working mostly on medical floors. She has journeyed with many clients who were dying, and she tried to comfort their families during this difficult time. She has completed two units of Clinical Pastoral Education.
Returning back to school she completed classes from the Red River College in the areas of Gerontology, Bereavement, Death and Dying. She was enrolled eight years in lay ministry training. At present, she enjoys her role at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Yorkton in the area of parish work. For the past ten years she has also been employed at Bailey’s Funeral Home working in the area of Continuing Care.
Comments and articles may be forwarded by mail to: Margaret Anne Yost, P.0. Box 554 Melville, Sask. S0A 2P0
Or phone 1-306-621-9877 (9 am-5 pm) or at home 1-306-728-4744 (evenings).