Grief Is Forever

Grief lasts a lifetime

Buzzy’s great-grandfather was well known – at least by his children – for having and teaching “one right way” to do most things.  Wiping the table, squeezing the toothpaste tube, arranging socks in the drawer and shirts in the closet, to name just a few. But about grief he had little to say.  In fact, one had to watch very closely to see even a glimpse of it when he lost his young wife during the birth of their sixth child. That was more than 50 years ago when expressing emotion, especially grief, was rare.

We’re getting better, because it is important to know you are not alone as you mourn and grieve.  There are guides and books and speakers and articles. You can find stages and timelines and activities to do that are part of the process. It can be overwhelming. You may begin to think grieving will never end.  

A contributor to Huff Post’s Common Grief, Carol Cafflin, says that is the case. In her March 12, 2017 article, along with declaring there is not just one right way to grieve, she states that a key truth about grief is that it never ends.  “Don’t let this statement frighten you…you will adapt to life without your loved one…You will survive. But don’t expect to be ‘the same’.” She adds what she calls good news: “Though grief doesn’t end, it does change shape over time, and, at some point it becomes part of you.”

I was one of the six children who lost a mother when gaining a sister. It’s hard to know how that grief has become a part of who I am. But hardly a day goes by even after all these years when I don’t think of her, remember her, long for her.  And I have learned there is more than one right way to do things.

Contributed by Nancy Petrie