Grief is relentless, a beast of an emotion. We ask ourselves: “When will I stop feeling the pain?” Grief is probably the emotion we fear the most because we are afraid of the absolute darkness that comes with it. Grief can be sneaky and come out of nowhere. It can sideline you and make you unrecognizable to yourself. There are times when one can get hit with a wave of grief so powerful it washes you away. Grief is about loss – death and separation, loss of normality, loss of what could be, loss of what we thought we knew. Grief is about longing (an involuntary yearning for wholeness) for understanding, for meaning, to regain what we have lost. And grief is about feeling lost – and the need to reorient ourselves to every part of ourselves.
Through my own grief I have learned that it is not really the pain of grief that becomes the burden, but the choices and decisions made while we are grieving that carry the weight, shame and ongoing consequences. Some of the choices, decisions, and behaviors I engaged in were beyond reason because grief robs us of logical thinking. The pain can be unbearable so we go numb, and then the numbness becomes unbearable, so we do anything just to feel. It is not easy to get out of this cycle.
So, are your friends still around? Do you recognize yourself? Have you made choices that have caused you to feel shame or regret during a period of grief?