They say that into every life a little rain must fall. For my Mom, it rained for a bunch of years, as she watched cancer slowly take my Dad away from her. She stood by his side through endless treatments, doctor visits, and strings of bad news. She loved him through the days when medication clouded his personality and judgement. She finally said goodbye with her head on his shoulder.
But for anyone who has experienced the death of a loved one, we know that the pain doesn’t end there. It is just beginning. As she adjusted to life without Dad, she spent many days and evenings alone, missing her best friend. He had been her life for 50 years. She had gone with him everywhere, and supported him in everything. They were inseparable.
Sooner or later in life, grief finds all of us. It’s part of the business of living life. Everyone handles it in different ways, but here’s my opinion on grief:
I believe that grief is like a visitor to your home that has to be entertained. Only when we sit with our grief and allow it to happen can we really get to a place where it no longer overwhelms us. We need to own it, experience it and do what we need to do to express it. Only then can we properly heal and keep going.
But we can’t live there. Eventually it is time to get up and start walking. As you keep moving, keep living, keep expressing kindness, keep focusing on what is still here, you walk out of the grief room and into a place where the memories can be reflected upon with fondness and sometimes sadness, but without the aching grief. But to get there you have to eventually get up and keep moving.
My Mom has found her own way to continue on.
I am so proud of her for that.