Grief is difficult, but there are pieces of it that can be so very good.
It’s the discomfort that we don’t like. We’re adjusting to loss and a new normal of life. Perhaps someone has died or walked away from us. Maybe we’ve lost something health related or an important part of our identity and ability. Most of the time, when we’re in the depth of it, we struggle to find the goodness of grief. Our minds might know there is something good about it; we might claim how normal our struggles are. But it doesn’t feel good much of the time, and we often determine the value of something based on how we feel about it.
But grief can be good and healthy at the same time that it is hard. Of course, it can also be unhealthy and destructive. And unfortunately, it is when we are at our most vulnerable that we often experience grief and have difficulty determining the health of what we’re going through. We simply don’t have the bandwidth to assess the truth of what’s happening.
Others can help, but their words might seem hollow at times.
There’s no checklist. As I talk with people going through some sort of grief, the questions often arise that sounds something like: “I’ve been struggling with __________. Is that normal? Is it healthy? What should I do?” The reality is sometimes in the depth of grief we simply survive. Even breathing hurts. Because life hurts. It is different in ways we don’t want to experience.
But here we are. And there are people who love us even if we can’t see it. There are people who are grieving with us even if in different ways. There are people we don’t know who are going through something similar even though we might not be aware.
We are not alone.
Grief is deep. And deep isn’t necessarily bad. We might never completely heal from the grief we are experiencing, but we can survive. We can breathe even when it hurts.