Bereavement is an inner process that must be given all the space that it requires. Don’t be surprised that during that process emotions like sadness, pain, homesickness or loss can occur. But, also emotions like happiness, pleasure, joy or delight. It can all be there. It’s all part of it.
But what you certainly shouldn’t do is to wallow in your grief. Never mind when you feel unhappy because of your grief. It’s part of our life. When you think though, that you shouldn’t be never unhappy, then that thought alone can be the cause that you feel unhappy… and maybe even stay unhappy unnecessarily. When we’re happy we feel a sense of expansion, and when we’re miserable we experience a certain depth. Therefore, you experience happiness or sorrow in life. You should treat both as equal because happiness brings expansion and sorrow brings depth… and both make us stronger.
It all moves away… even grief… pleasant or unpleasant… it moves away. Once you realize that it all fades, that’s when it gives you new perspectives and opportunities.
In a nutshell, bereavement leads to change. In my former professional life, I was used to prepare for change … and if you do that … you can somehow deal with that change … a change that you initially (in your wildest dreams) did not expect.
Can you prepare for a change like this? Yes, you can, that is if you see that death is coming… and yes, if you are both willing to talk about this. But many of us don’t see that death is coming… let alone if they can see that … are they willing to talk about this. Most of us can’t and are surprised by the news that a loved one deceased. And then, when the first shocks begin to ebb away a little and you become more and more aware of the loss, then in my opinion the grieving process begins… the process of processing your grief. Only then the change will begin.
How the process of that change proceeds is different for each of us. What I have learned and experienced is that the rawer the grief is after a loss, the deeper the love was for the other. I have also learned by simultaneously embracing the great love to my dear one and the (raw) pain and grief of her death, I was able to create something … the lessons we’ve learned from each other.
Therefore, never forget those lessons and continue your path-of-life with head held high. Be proud that you’ve learned so much from your dear one… that you’ve been able to support each other so much and… that you’ve enjoyed each other on those parts of your path-of-life that you could walk together! Hence, prepare for what you could do if you give yourself the ability … and more importantly … challenge yourself to go on.
Continue and discover despite all your sorrow so that this could eventually become one of your greatest adventures so far.