Time heals when we allow it space to ebb and flow. Grief is not linear, nor does it follow a prescribed set of stages. Yes, I know about the Elizabeth Kubler-Ross model. Moreover, that it was developed to explain the stages of grief one is likely to experience when faced with the news of their own terminal illness.
Grief of a loved one is not the same.
How is it Different… the Same?
It comes down to one word – control.
- We cannot control the world around us
- We can control our reaction to it
We decide if we want to stuff down our feelings or allow expression of emotion. For me, I have allowed my expression of grief to emerge, even when it is inconvenient or embarrassing. That includes tears, anger, resentment, and any other emotion that comes up.
Even though I thought I was grieving the first year, as I look back it is obvious I was in denial, protecting myself. As the years have changed me since my husband’s decision to take his own life, my grief has also changed because I have allowed it.
How Time Heals When We Allow It
This month is the 7th anniversary of my husband’s death. When I see the actual date looming ahead, a lump forms in my throat and the tears, or sobs start. I try to move myself to a private space, but that doesn’t always happen… like right now. My diaphragm begins an unconscious series of contractions, the tears well up in my eyes, and I catch my breath as a few sobs emerge. Then it is over. I take a deep breath in and out. All is well.
Final Words of Encouragement
My experience has shown me a few ways to get through.
- Give yourself the same compassion you give others
- Shower yourself with self-care
- Allow others to help
- Accept loving kindness
- Seek counseling and groups who share your experience
It will get better. Time heals when we allow it.