Sometimes we move on from grief too soon. There are two reasons we do this:
1) We’re hurting and don’t want to linger in the pain
2) Those around us tell us it’s time to move on
All loss involves sadness. We need to visit that sadness and not be afraid of it. It has its purpose and function.
A friend of mine moved to a new town this summer. While it was exciting to experience something new, her teenage daughter was less keen and was sad about leaving her friends. That’s fair. She would have to come into a community and a school that was new and different.
A key to moving in is the word different.
Loss includes both grief and mourning. Grief is our response to what is missing that we no longer have that used to be. There are times when each of us misses what we no longer have – something that was significant in our lives and grief returns for a “visit”. That’s completely normal.
Mourning, on the other hand, is our intentional movement back into life – not better or worse, but a different life – while still missing what we once had. In mourning we are not expecting life to be the same but wondering what it will look like now – sometimes frightening or uncertain.
But remember, different is not good or bad, it just is.
It’s how you choose to visit this “different” that is significant. True, moving into this new life can be tough but unless you move into it, you won’t know the good it can bring. It will look different for each person and comes in a variety of wrapping, but there is a package waiting for you to unwrap that might surprise you.
Written by Rick Bergh, bereavement educator.