Do you think you are grieving wrong?
Do you see others recovering more quickly than you?
Do you believe you should feel better by now like them?
You think that something is wrong with you?
I did. I was sure I was defective.
I thought I would be done grieving in a year. I knew my husband dying would be devastating, but I had no idea. So I planned on getting back into life after a year so I could raise my children, and show them a mother that was strong, and could rise above adversity.
Then I couldn’t. I couldn’t pick myself up. The first year passed…. and then the second. My grief was like nothing I had ever felt before. It was a tidal wave and I was getting thrashed around, beat up and felt like I was drowning.
And on top of that I was embarrassed. I didn’t want anyone to know what a mess I was. How weak I was.
I put on a happy face when I walked outside.
But inside I was scared to death that I would never feel better. My future looked dark.
I looked around and everyone else seemed to be doing better than me.
I’d hear of others beginning to date. Or back to work with successful careers.
The more I compared myself to others I didn’t really know, the worse I felt.
I hid more. In hiding I read lots of books about people who survived, but it never explained what they actually did to make it through.
So I continued to believe something was wrong with me. They were better than me.
Comparing my loss to other’s losses, thinking about and analyzing why they were doing better than me, only made things worse.
Comparing does not bring us to healing. It never does.
So a beginning step in healing your pain is to stop comparing yourself to others.
This is your road. It has your unique stumbling blocks, your own turns, and detours.
No other person on the planet has the exact same route.
You will make your own choices about what turns to take and you will find your own way.
Others may offer guidance. And you can choose to listen or not. They can tell you about their route. And you can learn from them or not. They can cheer you on. Hold you up. Pick you up when you fall hard. But you will be the one to decide to carry on.
I found someone who’d been through loss to guide me through parts of my road. I found friends to cheer me on and hold me up at times.
And I’m here if you want someone to help you find your way along your road when you feel blind, to help you get back up when you fall, and to cheer you on when you feel weak.
Most of all, I want you to know I see you carrying on with inner strength and wisdom. I see you taking brave steps on your road to healing the pain of your grief and creating a brighter future.
“There is a road, no simple highway
Between the dawn and the dark of night
And if you go no one may follow
That path is for your steps alone.”