This post may or may not be helpful depending where you are in your grief. After my daughter passed, I was in the midst of the worst pain that I had ever known. I just wanted the pain to end. The thought popped into my mind Was this terrible pain worth having a child that I would only be able to love for 16 short years? Yes it was!!! The joy that she brought to my life, and the wonderful things she accomplished in her short life was most surely worth the tremendous pain I was feeling now. The tears that I have now are not only from the pain of loss, but also tears of joy for having had the privilege of being her father.
When we experience great loss, we obviously initially suffer great pain. There is no avoiding it. We must take our time to adjust to life without our child that we loved so much. We learn in our grieving that like life, grief is not orderly. It is unpredictable. At some point though, if we continue to resist the pain of grief and try to control life, we will continue to suffer. At some point we have to choose to try to live in the present moment, while letting go of the past and trying not to control the future. Remembering that when we resist our suffering will persist.
I think the most important thing to have in grief is hope. As long as we have hope we will continue to heal no matter how slowly. When we lose hope we stay stuck in a very dark place. This does not help us or those around us, or honor our child who has passed. Always find ways to hang on to hope that things will get better.
I am having a hard time dealing with the death of my uncle. He was the first person that I was close to that has died since Kaitlyn passed. It did not bring the intensity of pain after Kaitlyn died, but there was a sadness and depression that lasted all day. I was crying off and on. I notice a real compassion for my aunt and cousins. I wish there was something I could do to take their pain away. I know that I will be here to help them on their individual grief journeys if needed, but know that will have to do what works for them on their own grief journeys.
Sadness after a loss is necessary to help us adjust to the loss. Sadness is not the only emotion that we feel in grief. Allow yourself to feel all of these emotions. At first these emotions tend to be very intense, but they tend to decrease in intensity over time. It is just important not to get stuck on any one emotion.
I love this poem.
I'll Hold Your HandBy Michele Meleen
I know it hurts
not having your child's
hand to hold.
I can't change this life
for you, my friend,
but I can be
your hand to hold.
This describes perfectly the problem of early grief, but overtime you will be able to talk with them again and look for signs that they are still with you.
One ironic thing I found about early grief, I desired an end to the intense pain of grief, but at the same time I felt on another level a lack of pain would mean that I would forget about my child. I also think that on another level that I some how deserved the pain because I had failed as a parent since my child died. This mind set was not conducive for healing. It was not until I was able to admit to myself that there was nothing that I could have done to save Kaitlyn's life. I also had to come to terms with the fact that lack of pain did not mean you loved your child any less, and being in this pain was not going to bring her back. If I was going to continue my relationship with her on a spiritual plain, It would take me getting myself to a better place spiritually and psychologically.
I can think of nothing more painful in life than losing a child. It is a crushing pain that can take your breath away. If we are to heal from this traumatic event, we must learn to gently lean into the pain of grief. We can;t avoid it or try to runaway from it. It will catch up to you and like a wound that gets infected cause you more pain and suffering.This process can not be rushed and each individual will grieve differently. There is not a right way or wrong way to grieve. Do whatever works for you and helps you to begin to feel a little better. As you begin to lean into the pain of grief, over time you will begin to feel a softening of the intensity of the grief. At the beginning, you will feel that the pain of grief is constant, but as you sit with it you will begin to notice brief periods were you notice gaps in the severity of the pain. You will begin to notice a softening of yourself, where things that used to frustrate or anger you don't seem to matter as much as they used to. You began to develop a deeper appreciation of life, and become more empathetic person. What does seem to frustrate you more is the trivial things that other people still feel are vital and you realize in the larger scope of things they really are not worth worrying about. You know how precious and fragile life can be, and you need to spend more time appreciating it because it can change in an instant.