Having recently been reading the blogs of several of my widowed friends who lost their husbands about the time of the loss of my dear Hamada and their continued surprise that after three years or more, they are still feeling so much pain. My heart goes out to them daily and I understand their dismay at not being able to ‘move on’. Grief is so different from person to person, just as days are different for us all. Days that are filled with fun and busyness with not much time for reflection are good when you are grieving but they do not happen everyday and are so much more preferable to the days of quiet thoughtfulness. Why do we need I ask, to concern ourselves so much with ‘moving on?’ Yes, we have a duty to show a good cheerful face to the world and to our families and friends. For who wants to spend time with a sad-sack who is constantly looking backwards, casts a shadow on every occasion and not really much fun to be with?
We must try at least to continue well and be supportive friends and a nice person without sadness to be with. But privately you cannot always ‘swallow your grief ‘ and why should you? It is so intrinsically bound up with who you are now and how you feel deep inside. It would be fool-hardy to deny these feelings when they emerge and engulf us.
These feelings of loss help me to continue well in my daily life and I must have these moments of deep quiet reflection and I use this time to pull the good memories and sometimes the not so good, out to ‘lay in front of me’ for a time, to clear my head and my heart of the loss I still feel.
I love to read books and sonnets of powerful overwhelming love that has been lost. We are not the first or will we be the last to feel acute pain. I use favourite books and quotes that bring comfort to me, that if I am completely honest make me understand the pain I often feel even three years further on. I miss my special man – will that ever change I doubt it and nothing will bring him back to me. But I refuse on occasions not to acknowledge the deep pain of missing him on those quiet reflective days I talk about.
Occasionally I post quotes that mean a lot to me. Words that I would have loved to have written myself, words I believe, that sum up the way many of us who have lost our special person are feeling now. Words that many of you who read here, will understand well. I would like if I may to share them with you:
Grief is different, Grief has no distance. Grief comes in waves, paroxysms, sudden apprehension that weakens the knees and blinds the eyes and obliterate the dailiness of life. – Joan Didion – The Year of Magical Thinking.
A single person is missing you and the whole world is empty – Philippe Aries – Western Attitudes Towards Death
To mourn is to be eaten alive with homesickness for the person – Olive Ann Burns, Cold sassy tree.
My wind is turned to bitter north that was so soft a south before… Arthur Hugh Clough – A Song of Autumn
People imagine that missing a loved one is kind of like missing cigarettes. The first day is really hard but the next day is less hard and so forth, easier and easier the longer you go on. But instead it’s like missing water. Every day you notice the person’s absence more – Anne Tyler, Back to when we were grown-ups.
A bird sings, but they have no song that I can hear – Beryl Markham – West with the Night.
Yes words of sadness they certainly are, but I believe helpful in the understanding of the grieving process that so many of us have difficulty in absorbing, often desire to wish away, and to think we should not be feeling now. But I believe profoundly that we have a private right to grieve, and should not wish this pain away – embrace it, for your heart will never heal if you deny it the time to do so.
Continue to feel your loss my friends without apologies and yes succumb to it on occasions – it is after all our biggest connection to those we loved and must never be under-estimated in the healing process.
Blessings and Peace my friends.