Grief is not something simply to get over. Even years after a loss – the loss still matters and we will never be the same again. Without getting stuck in despair, grief can change us for the good.
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No Going Back
When faced with death or other major losses, we often wish time would stop – particularly when the loss was sudden or unexpected.
However, with or without our permission, time continues to move forward, and we must also.
But moving forward does not mean we forget or pretend that what we lost no longer matters.
It will always matter and we will never be the same again. There is no going back. We have been placed on a path we did not choose and cannot change.
The work of grief helps us to come to terms with this new reality.
For Good or Ill
Yet it is up to us whether we allow our losses to change us for good or for ill.
For example, after the death of a loved one, we might be tempted to keep others at a distance to avoid the heartbreak of loss again.
Grief here leads to isolation.
And years after our original loss, that secret vow not to be hurt again still shapes all our current relationships. Whether conscious or not, our despair keeps us from letting others get too close and loneliness becomes our closest friend.
On the other hand, the death of a loved one can remind us just how precious life is and to not take our days for granted.
Grief here leads to deep connection and meaningful relationships.
And now years after our loss, we’ve remained committed to opening to each moment and allowing ourselves to know and be fully known. We no longer settle for shallow connecting.
And even here, we might not always connect it back to our original loss, but our life and relationships are much richer because of that loss.
Our grief has changed us for the good.
A Better Man
We will all have our moments of grief. It is unavoidable on this journey of life.
Let it change you for good. Become a better man because of your grief.
In a small way, this is how we honor the loss, integrate it into our story, and never forget.