Sunday, March 27, 2016

My New Reality

Editor’s note: The following commentary I saw in a TCF newsletter sums up what grief teaches us. I thought many could relate to this and that you might like to read it. The author is Adolfo Quesda of TCF Colorado.

My old friend Grief is back. He comes to visit me once in a while to remind me that I am still a broken man.  Surely there has been much healing since my son died six years ago, and surely I have adjusted to a world without him. But the truth is, we never completely heal, we never totally adjust.  Such is the nature of the loss that no matter how much life has been experienced, the heart of the bereaved will never be the same. It’s as though a part of us dies with the person we lose through death.

 And so my old friend Grief drops in to say “Hello.” Sometimes he enters through the door of my memory. I’ll hear a song or smell a fragrance. I’ll look at a picture and I’ll remember how it used to be. Sometimes it brings a smile to my face…sometimes a tear.

One may say that remembrance is unhealthy…that we shouldn’t dwell on thoughts that make us sad. Yet the opposite is true. Grief revisited is Grief acknowledged and Grief confronted is Grief resolved. But if Grief is resolved, why do we feel a sense of loss when we least expect it? Because healing doesn’t mean forgetting and moving on with life doesn’t mean that we don’t take a part of our lost love with us. Of course the intensity of the pain decreases over time if we allow Grief to visit from time to time.

Sometimes my old friend Grief sneaks up on me. It’s as though the one’s we have lost are determined not to be forgotten. My old friend Grief doesn’t get in the way of living. He just wants to come along and chat sometimes.

Grief has taught me a few things about living I wouldn’t have learned on my own. He has taught me that if I try to deny the reality of loss, I end up having to deny life altogether. Old Grief has taught me that I can survive great loss and although my world is different, it’s still my world and I must live in it.

My old friend Grief has taught me that the loss of a loved one doesn’t mean the permanence of death. My friend will be back again and again to remind me to confront my new reality and to gain through loss and pain.

     Grief never ends...but it changes. It's a passage, not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of 
     weakness, not a lack of faith...It is the price of love.  

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