Every Wednesday

Every Wednesday I will post something about grief. Sometimes it will be a reflection on an aspect of grief’s landscape. Now and then I will share from my own journey of grief, because in the sharing of our stories we find strength and build a community of people that support one another.

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Surviving Ordinary Time

The excitement and dread of the holidays are over.  
No more happy music, twinkling lights, or opening of presents. If the holidays were something we dreaded this year because someone we loved died, then we’re thankful that they’re over. It’s hard to watch other people celebrate when we’re grieving. 
Yet the holidays did provide moments of distraction from our grief, and a suspension of our stark reality. Perhaps we allowed ourselves to feel a little hope and believe again that what seems improbable is still possible. Hang on to this.

Now we enter the ordinary days when nothing special goes on, just the ongoing rhythm of everyday chores and responsibilities. We have left with more time to dwell with our thoughts and feelings. While the sameness of day after day can be hard, reaching this place is an achievement because we have survived a host of events that could have pulled us under. 

Grief continues to teach us to be honest with ourselves and others. Although we felt pressured to put on a happy face during the holidays, we don’t have to be happy in front of other people if we don’t feel happy. If we are sad today, and people ask how we're doing, we can tell them we are sad. We don’t need to cover our feelings over as if they don’t matter. They do matter, and good friends value relationships with people who are honest.

By being honest about our grief, we help others understand what the months of grief are like. And by listening to us, people prepare for the time when grief comes home to them.

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