Grieving is the response to loss, particularly the loss of someone you cared for. Most people imagine that you grieve someone that has passed on in death. However, we grieve so much more. We grieve people who are even still alive. We grieve the loss of relationships, friendships, the past, missed opportunities. Anything you cared for and lost can be grieved.
No matter the person, place, or thing that was lost, grieving is extremely difficult. It can be really really hard. Grieving feels like a crash course in depression. It hits us super hard and all of a sudden we feel all the symptoms: sadness, crying, can’t focus, can’t eat, can’t sleep…or we eat and sleep too much. Sometimes we feel this sense of dissonance that we aren’t even connected to our bodies anymore; we’re not connected to this world. It’s as if this loss can’t be real.
But grieving is necessary. It’s necessary in order to move on. And maybe “moving on” looks different for each person. Sometimes the sadness associated with the loss never completely dissipates. We may feel sad at the thought of the loss whenever we think back on the good memories or the missed chance for something great. We mourn the potential. We feel sad when we think about the good times, their smile, their laugh. There is always going to be a tinge of pain associated with it. But that’s because we loved or cared for that situation so much. Of course it hurts. The loss we feel is a representation of the amount of love we had for them.
To be honest, the only way to truly grieve and move on, is to give the situation time. And it’s not necessarily that the situation will hurt less, but your relationship to the situation will change. It simply becomes more manageable with time. Of course, it’s best practice to engage in self-care during this time of grieving. Surround yourself with people and activities that bring you joy. Fill your time with more happy memories. Feel your feelings though. We can’t hold back on how we feel. Holding back our feelings only hinders the process that needs to take place in order to function in the future. Sometimes we may have to make hard decisions in order to grieve and be able to move forward. But you won’t be able to get to that point without becoming aware of your feelings and letting your body get in touch with your heart and your mind. Grieving is difficult and so is moving on but you can do it, you can do both.