Grief, A Lifelong Process

Grieving is certainly one of the most universal human experiences, yet it seems most of us have not been prepared or educated to understand and deal with grief in a healthy way.

Most people don’t seem to grasp the depth of grief or the length of grief.  It is unrealistic to expect to love someone, lose someone and not have it change us forever.

The pain of losing a loved one can be almost unbearable at times, but I have shared with grieving parents that if my daughter, Crystal, was going to die, as painful as that  would be, I was glad that it did hurt so deeply because it reminded me that I loved Crystal deeply.  How sad it would be to lose a family member and it not hurt.

We need to understand that grieving is not a speedy process; yet many in our culture want to push us to “get over it and move on.”  I found the following quote helpful to me and my understanding of grief:

“Grief changes through the years, but the simple truth, which no one wants to admit, is that you will never be your old self again.  You are forever changed.  That’s not to say that you won’t be healed, because you will find ways to heal.  And yes, the raw, jagged pain of acute grief will fade.  But just as a very deep wound leaves a lasting scar, you will have an emotional scar that will at times, still feel sore.” *

That last statement about scars brings to mind a song I heard, “Scars Are A Sign Of Healing.” Scars can last a long time.  I still have scars on my body from cuts in my childhood.  As Ashley Davis Prend says, “Grieving is not a short-term process; it’s not even a long-term process; it’s a lifelong process.”

So don’t be too hard on yourself or expect too much too soon in your journey of grief. Healing does happen even though it is a lifelong process with ups and downs. God never abandons us. He gives us opportunities to come alongside of others in their grief journey. Miraculously that helps us in our grief journey.

*Transcending Loss, Ashley Davis Prend, Berkley  Books, NY