Grief is an unavoidable part of life that no one willingly chooses to face. Its pain can be beyond words and its grip isolating. The accompanying loneliness may feel almost unbearable and the mental torment can feel relentless. It seems to know no time constraints, no rules and one may feel vulnerable, lost, disconnected and dysfunctional. Many suggest that it feels as if the world continues to revolve without them, as they become a numbed observer of life from the outside. The power of grief, of bereavement and the emotional overwhelm that it brings is fully acknowledged, but so too is the power of resilience, the softening of emotion over time, hope for the future, and the capacity to find a new way forward.
Bereavement reflects a loving connection that has been lost, and we mourn this. We mourn the loss of the receiving and giving of love, understanding, friendship and intimacy that was at the heart of a precious relationship. Learning to live with loss and grief can be varied and complex, and involves multiple adaptations on psychological, social, spiritual and physical levels. Grieving is about moving forward without the physical presence of your loved one, while carrying them with you, within. It is a connection of love, a relationship, that cannot be taken away from you and, because of this, carrying them within can bring comfort. Finding a way to continue this bond with your lost loved one has the potential to ease your distress, over time, and lighten the load of your burden.