July 15, 2020

5 Things to Remember about Healing when Grief is Haunting You.


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I don’t lie down in my bedroom, weeping into a pillow, and smothering myself with blankets of memories and broken dreams.

On most days, I’m fine and get on with my life as happily as possible; I do the best I can.

But no matter how many years pass by, there are still those days when the void becomes colossal, and the deep pangs of sadness return with their full intensity.

There is nowhere to hide, nor is there anywhere to chase it away.

For me, bowing humbly and letting it wash over for a brief time is the only solution known (that works).

This is my version of healing, and I refuse to imitate someone else’s:

1. Healing does not happen by blindly following a prescription. It is about gathering the strength to shun all the shoulds and musts. Personalize a process for yourself—unapologetically, and uncompromisingly.

2. Healing is about acknowledging that a detour was mandatory to mitigate the roadblock and not feeling guilty or bitter about the slowdown.

3. Healing is not about having a brand-new clean slate and restarting from scratch. It is about choosing courageously and whole-heartedly to retain the same notebook. It is about accepting, graciously, that a few pages had to be torn off; a few pages will remain with the blemishes. And it’s also about not fretting over botched plans or choosing to rewrite the remaining pages differently.

4. Being “healed” does not mean you should be able to revisit painful memories without a lump rolling up in your throat or without tears welling up. An unexpected stroke on an old scar can suddenly feel like a freshly cut wound and bring back a wave of pain. There is nothing to be ashamed about; there is no reason to panic.

5. The essence of healing, for some, may be in “winning a big race.” But for most others, it is in the crawl or hops or walking—taking as many breaks as needed. But the important part is to keep moving forward at your own pace. Forced timelines and milestones are nothing but camouflaged barricades.

Healing is not waiting for the tears to dry out completely, but not letting them permanently obscure your future.

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