What does healing grief really mean?

Photo of flowers on a windowsill

As I said in a previous post, Grief Recovery – Will I ever get over it?, healing grief is the goal. Not getting over it. Not forgetting, but healing which includes weaving the loss into our entire life’s story rather than being defined by one event, momentous though it may be.

So what does it look like when grief has resolved?

1. Life no longer revolves around the loss.

2. There is a renewed interest in life and in the future.

3. Occasional periods of sadness which generally only last for minutes or hours…or occasionally a few days.

4. Remembering the person who died with happiness, and finding ways to integrate those memories into your life going forward.

Can you think of others? Feel free to share in the comments.

Photo Credit: lizevans

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2 thoughts on “What does healing grief really mean?”

  1. Avatar

    I was just reading the post on healing grief. I am in my third year of the grief journey. I think this has been the hardest year yet. It feels like being on autopilot some of the time, not knowing what to do but knowing that I should be doing something. I still have periods of sadness but as you say they are shorter now and I can recall good memories of my husband and they make me smile. I am in the process of making our apartment more of a my zone now and it is keeping me busy along with work. I still as I said have times when I miss him so much but I am learing to deal with these emotions better now. I think that I am moving forward even it is only in small steps. At least it is forward. It is tough being on my own but I have learnt that I am a lot stronger than I thought I was.

    Hope this may help others.

    Jill

    1. Avatar

      Thanks for sharing Jill!

      Ironic isn’t it that we discover unknown depths of strength in the face of such great loss?

      What you’re sharing really speaks to how long grief can take. It makes sense doesn’t it? The people closest to us whether they be a husband, wife, mother, father, sibling or child, are woven into the fabric of our lives. They aren’t incidental to our lives. They’re a vital part of it. When they die, it’s like having a part of ourselves ripped away. It can take a long time to repair that hole and we’re never quite the same.

      None of this happens fast and it’s terribly painful, yet I hear in your comments that you are moving toward the future. That’s as it should be, but moving forward does not mean forgetting. Ultimately the work of grief is about finding ways of remembering and loving someone who is no longer physically present. The relationship doesn’t end. It lives on in our hearts and minds forever. When we realize that, we’re ready to fully invest in life again.

      Be well,

      -Susan

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