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The Changes of Grief

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When a loved one dies, our life is never the same again. Grief forever changes things. We miss our person, roles are redirected, moves may happen. The death can rearrange our world in ways we may have never imagined.

At times, grief may feel so unbearably heavy that it’s difficult to move or function under the burden. It may be a constant weight that is a continual reminder of the loss of a loved one.

As we learn coping skills and process thoughts, the overwhelming heaviness begins to lighten. The grief is still there, but it’s not a continual heaviness. Sometimes it can even be overlooked for moments of time.

Eventually, grief can become something we wear that is a part of us: it’s more manageable, less overwhelming.

It’s no longer a huge weight that crushes us. Most days the grief is light enough to wear but other days the heaviness may return. Grief itself is also changing. It may often surprise us. A smell, a taste, a song, a memory, a word, can bring with it a flood of thoughts and emotions. That’s okay! That is how grief works. It’s an ongoing, unpredictable process. But days turn into weeks, then months, then years. Life events like holidays, birthdays, and weddings happen.

How do we manage to celebrate life milestones and carry our grief at the same time? Healing grief and learning to live without those we love are the hardest things we will ever do, but love and loss can learn to walk side by side. By honoring our pain and the love we shared, we can find a way to participate in life’s celebrations.

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