I was touched reading this article in the New York Times: Getting grief right.
Why? Because to me it highlights one of the key things we tend to nowadays forget about losing a loved one: it is good and natural to feel sad.
You have permission to grieve.
The fact that you are sad does not necessarily mean that you are depressed – it means that you loved that person well. And that is good!
Instead of accepting that, we labour under the lie that we should get back to coping as soon as possible, show the world that we’ve put the grieving process behind us. So we put on a mask for the world and push the sadness down. And we think we are doing a good thing. We are not!
Let me tell you this from my own experience and everything I’ve seen in other people: forcing emotions to go undercover does not take care of them – they will grow in the hidden darkness, and they will demand attention. It may not happen now, but sooner or later they will exact the respect you did not give them.
Because that is what it boils down to: respecting our emotions and accepting them, whatever they are. There rests immense freedom in the ability to do that!
Be honest with yourself about how you feel.
And then, when you’ve been honest, accept it with compassion. There is no way you have to feel, and no way you are not allowed to feel. There are no shoulds.
There is only the truth of what is. Be tender with yourself, accept it lovingly, and respectfully allow grief to work its intended healing.