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July 28, 2014

Why Does it Hurt So Much?

Why does it hurt so much? Why is this grief so incapacitating? If only the hurt weren’t so crushing.
All of us have known hurts before, but none of our previous “ouches” can compare with the hurt we now feel. Nothing can touch the pain of burying a child.
Yet most of us have discovered that the sun still comes up. We still have to function. We did not die when our child die, even though we wished we could have. So we are stuck with this pain, this grief, and what do we do with it? Surely, we can’t live like this forever.
There are no magic formulas for surviving grief. There are a few commonly recognized patterns of grief, but even those are only guidelines. What we do know is that the emptiness will never go away. It will be come tolerable and livable. Some day.
Time. The longest word in our grief. We used to measure time by the steps of our child, the first word, first tooth, first date, and first car. Now we don’t have that measure anymore. All we have is time.
So what do we do? Give ourselves time to hurt, to grieve, and to cry. Time to choke; to scream. Time to be “crazy” and time to remember.
Be kind to yourself. Don’t measure your progress against anyone 
else’s. Be your own timekeeper. Don’t push. Eventually you will find the hours and days of grief have turned to minutes and their moments. Yes, we will always hurt, but one day it become tolerable and livable.

Change your focus a bit. Instead of dwelling on how much you lost, try letting the good memories come over you easily as the awful ones do. We didn’t lose our child. They died. We loved the love that flowed between us. It still flows, but differently now.
Does it help to know that if we didn’t love so very much, it wouldn’t hurt so badly? Grief is the price we pay for love. And as much as it hurts, I know I am very glad I loved and knew my daughter.
Don’t let death cast ugly shadows, but rather warm memories of loving times you shared with your child.
Even though death comes, love never goes away.

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