The subject of how long it takes to move through our grief has come up a lot lately in conversations with friends and family. When Claude first died I had no idea that almost five years later my heart would still ache at times so profoundly. The consensus seems to be from those who have lived with a significant loss that the pain really never does go away and takes many years to work through, maybe even a lifetime. I have had people tell me that I seem to be much further along with my own process than time would indicate. Since I have no idea what that looks like I take them at their word.
I have heard it said many times that we experience grief much like the “ebb and flow” of the oceans waves. Intermittently touching our hearts with it’s bitterness. It can sometimes be felt as a gentle ripple, sometimes it hits us like a tidal wave without the luxury of a warning system seemingly out of nowhere.
Though I have experienced these unstoppable waves of grief in all their splendor and variations, for me this analogy implies that there are times when grief leaves us. As if to say that grief has taken a vacation, with the waves eventually returning home to the shore once again.
Through my guides, I have been shown an alternate perspective on the nature of grief. I was shown an image of the moon. In this image the moon represents our grief. I saw that our grief never really leaves us as the “ebb and flow” scenario would suggest. Just as the moon is always present, despite its level of illumination, so is our grief. The moon goes through its cycles just as our grief does. We have times when our grief is in full force, fully in our face, just as the moon is in full force during a full moon, bright and unavoidable with its emotional pull. We then have times when our grief is lurking in the shadows hiding, lying in wait for our next emotional trigger. At times we may even be unaware of it; we may have even temporarily forgotten it exists at all, having it totally eclipsed by the events in our present time reality.
The point is that our grief is always with us, we simply have times when we are engaged with it and times when we are not. We never forget, we never really “get over” the loss of our loved ones.
I used to believe that grief had a destination, that once I reached that magical place I would stop grieving and I would be free. My grief would simply run its course like a bad cold. Thankfully, with time our grief does temper. The authority with which it once controlled and consumed us seems to eventually subside and recede into the shadows once again. Transformed but never gone.
It was during one of those desperately painful times when grief came out of the shadows in full force screaming in my heart that I was shown this image of the moon. I found it struck a chord with me and has felt supportive through the many phases of my grief since. I hope it feels that way for you as well.
Please remember this dear one, your grief is as vast as the stars and part of being fully human on this starship called earth. Just like the passing phases of the moon your relationship to your grief over time will be shifting and changing. I know this can feel pretty unsettling and may make you feel a little crazy but rest assured, you’re not. It’s simply part of your own personal passage through the corridors of grief.
Blessings and Love,
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