Health and Wellbeing

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The answer to the well-meaning person who ask, “Haven’t you moved on yet?” is simply – No.  Here’s the truth about healing from grief.

Have you had people look at you with “get over it already” looks and sad eyes waiting for you to be back to normal? Everyone who has experienced grief unfortunately has felt and been on the end of these looks. What people don’t understand is that you don’t miss someone any less even if it’s a week, a year ago or even a longer time ago. You wonder why people think that time makes it hurt any less.

The answer to the well-meaning person who ask, “Haven’t you moved on yet?” is simply – No.

You can still move on however your life is changed forever, just as any life changing event will do, you learn to adapt and live again you go from your old life to being in limbo during grief and you move on to a new normal, a life after loss. So even if you ‘move on’ you can still grieve.

I personally still remember the loss of my husband 22 years ago as if they were yesterday. Time has softened my grief however that loss is a part of who I am today, it is a part of my DNA, however it has not healed my wound. My loss will always be a part of me and always will be however it is how I choose to respond to my grief that is the most important. I chose not to wallow and stay in a negative place, and by no means is was this easy to do mind you, I chose to live in a positive way, to live life and remember all the happy times that I was blessed to share with my late husband. I chose to give my children the best and happiest childhood because they deserved it.

The emotions around my own personal grief doesn’t change, as I moved onto a new normal, it didn’t change how I felt about my children growing up without their Dad or me my best friend and husband.

How to respond to questions like “Haven’t you moved on yet?”

So practically how do you respond when people tell you to hurry up already or even tell you “I thought you’d be back to ‘normal by now’? Here’s a couple of suggestions for responding.

  • “Grief is a normal response to loss what I’m going through is normal, thank you for your concern and I know you will continue to support me”. By saying this you are virtually giving them no other response than of course they will support you!
  • “Thank you for your concern however I’m in the midst of the biggest change of my life in a way I thought I would never be”. “It’s hard to understand even for me, so let me try to explain. Do you know those rides in the playground where you go around and round and get off feeling dizzy and you can’t stand, let alone focus?”
  • Let the person respond then continue with “Well that’s how I feel multiplied by 1000 plus, I’m sure you understand that what I’m going through is normal. I thank you for your concern and understanding I need to find my balance again.”

By giving people who have never experienced grief some examples it gives them a better understanding, to some extent, of what you are experiencing and why even if you do ‘move on’ grief and the effect of loss will be a part of you forever.

It’s how you deal with life as it is now, how you live life in their memory that is important.