Grief is not stagnant, suspended in time. Its like the ebb and flow of waves. And sometimes it can drown us in in its emptiness.
Society tends to have a set of expectations and ideas about the process of grief. People will be understanding and accepting of the process of grief as long as it follows stringent guidelines. Trouble is though, that when you lose a loved one, momentarily your reality gets suspended and it takes time for the process of grief to start. And the time frame for when that process starts varies from person to person. This happens because individuals have differing capacities to absorb and process difficult emotions. So oftentimes society loses patience with the grieving person before the person is ready. This results in the grieving person retreating and isolating - making it even harder for them to return back to normal.
“Learning to live with loss of a loved one is a lifelong process”
For every loved one we lose, we lose a part of ourself. We grieve then not just for the loss of the person but for the moments we can never have again, the things we will never feel again, the combination, the ethos of who we were with the person we have lost - that time, that person that we can never be again. How can this complexity of emotion follow stringent guidelines?
If you know someone who has lost a loved one, I request you to be patient with their process of grief. Give them time and space. Understand that you may never truly understand the extent of their loss. Accept that even when they seemingly return back to their daily life they might still struggle. That there will be occasions, days, things that will shake their core and flood them with emotions.
If you have lost a loved one, I request you to be patient with yourself. Grief is not stagnant, suspended in time. Its like the ebb and flow of waves that may drown us in its emptiness. And that’s okay.