Grief has no time limit.
Take a minute and remember a time when you were swinging on swings, maybe on the play ground, or maybe in your back yard, the air blowing in your face, your stomach dropping, laughing, feeling as if you were going straight into the sky. Being worry free and just full of life.
I remember as a little girl, my aunt had a swing on a tree in her yard, it sat slightly over a hill, and all you could see was open field and sky. I would swing on this swing for hours, daydreaming, imagining different things, feeling so free, like there was no care in the world. Then one day I walked down to get on the swing. My aunt had been talking to me so I sat on the swing backwards. Even though it was still stable, my cousin came over and gave me a push. I felt unsteady, I felt like my balance was off, I felt as if I was going to fall backwards and roll down the hill. My feet were touching the dirt, and I drug myself to stop. I had this feeling through my whole body that was "off" and I wasn't sure at that point if I wanted to get on that swing again... I compare that moment in my life to the feelings of grief.
Grief isn't expected. You don't wake up one day and think to yourself "Oh, todays the day I am going to have this huge change and moment that will happen, that I will feel my whole life flip, and spend time grieving". We most certainly never expect the loss of a loved one.
That's where most of our brains go when we hear the word grief typically, but grief doesn't stop there. Grieving can happen after any change, a loss of a job, your pet, a home, a partner, a friendship, the ending of a phase in your life, or the lack of accomplishing certain goals you may have had. Grieving comes from many different things, all in which are very normal.
The thing is, grieving has no limit. Just because someone tells you that you should be over it, or someone says that they only worried about a similar situation for a certain time period, doesn't mean you will be the same. Grieving is our way of saying "this part of me is gone, and I don't know what to fill this void with" and to some it may be simple. To some it may be a new pet, new boyfriend, or an acceptance of what is lost. We all have a different way of releasing and replacing our feelings. however, some people are not as quick to fill that void. Even more so, sometimes, time does not heal all wounds.
Grief has no schedule. You can not set a time frame and you can not be expected to follow a certain set of rules when it comes to rebuilding yourself. The depths in which you are hurt are no one else's to determine. We are not obligated to mask it or pretend as if we are okay when we are not. Seeking out comfort by talking with our support team, grief counseling, or just taking a step a way from the day to day routines of our life, are all acceptable ways that healing begins. When we begin to venture into our new world, life after loss, we tend to want to be the person we were prior, in my opinion this is almost unachievable. To become who you once were, would be to have what you once had.
Time may allow you to gain some normalcy, to accept life as it has become different. Life might let you wake up and move forward with certain things, maybe you will have that first cup of coffee since the change, and maybe you'll just finally take a shower, and you will for a second, applaud yourself for trying. Some people might just finally stop and give themselves a minute to process because in moments of loss some like to keep themselves overly busy. I know at times I would find myself wondering how I could feel "normal" again or feel like I did prior to my loss, and I had realized pretty quickly, that it really isn't something that I will ever accomplish. You are no longer that person, you are striving to be someone that is no longer there. You learn to grow from it.
Even upon growing from it, that doesn't mean there will not be times throughout your life where a certain smell or resemblance won't come sweeping in like a cold wind and send you right back to the moment you didn't think you could stand. Plenty of times I've sat and cried over moments in my life that have been associated with loss. I have spent hours going over the same conversations and replaying the moments in my head that I thought maybe I could have done differently. I have spent time needing to revisit and discuss things that have happened time and time again. Grief comes in waves and sometimes it will feel like you are drowning.
In the days that it becomes exhausting, where you feel like the people in your life are sick of hearing about it, or you don't know who else to talk to, I would like to remind you that you can seek many different routes of support. You can use Facebook groups, church meetings, counseling/therapy, journaling, or even a new friend. However, at no point, should you be pressured into keeping the feelings to yourself. Surround yourself with people and individuals who will be there to support your swing stopping, not forcing you to get back on and fly higher. Sometimes its okay to need to walk on stable ground for a minute. The time will come when you feel confident enough to swing on swings, just remember that you get to make that choice.
Disclaimer: Blog posts reflect the opinions and experiences of the specific blogger and do not reflect the views or beliefs of Peerstar, LLC as an organization.