When will I get over this feeling of grief?
When my father died the grief counselor from hospice sent printed materials to me that said it would take about two years before I began to feel normal again. The truth is, I don’t think you ever return to the way things were; you have to create a new normal.
As Sonny and Cher used to sing, ” . . . the beat goes on.” Life goes on. The seasons change. New inventions intrigue. Wars in the Middle East continue. But I am left with a dull ache. Yes, the intensity of the feelings changes with the passing of time. There is an acceptance of sorts.
And then one day . . . your 3 year old grandson asks, “Where are your Mommy and Daddy?”
And you answer . . . carefully . . . trying your best not to burst into tears in front of him.
I saw the feelings in my father’s eyes and in his stance as he stood near the graves of his own parents many years ago; he gazed off momentarily into space – and was far from this time and place. Now I understand. As I stand at his grave and gaze off into space.
One day my children will do the same.
Healing. True healing comes with time. Lots of time.
We’re not talking about a scrape, or even a broken bone. We’re talking about the absence of support “pillars” (as my friend, Landon Saunders once described his parents) in the building of life. First, one is cut down. And then another. And you find yourself standing at the front of the line. They were always there for you, from your first breath. Now they are gone.
Feel the feelings. Don’t ignore them. They will surface one way or the other.
And write. For goodness sake, begin to write.