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Grief – is there any light?
The ‘Hole’ of Grief #4
In this series ‘The Hole of Grief’ , I have been delving into grief as it interacts with our innermost being. In my first post in the series ‘A new year…….gulp’ , I proposed, given we were at the start of a year, whether it was an opportunity to embrace ‘the hole’ of grief, and explore all it has for you.
In the second post in this series, ‘Looking into the grief hole’ I proposed in the hole, along with elements of dark, were also elements of light. In the the last post ‘This could be what death looks like’ I delved into what the darkness of grief could look like, and so with this post I am going to delve into what the light could look like.
As I said last post, I know we are all individuals and grieve in different ways, but it is accepted now, there will be grief when there is a loss. It is a natural part of our shared human experience. To this end, it is critical to well-being to explore grief, which I have likened to a ‘hole.’
Ask anyone who has experienced grief of any kind, and most would say, it is an unpleasant and overwhelming experience, certainly with elements of darkness. But I would argue, there are also elements of light, co-existing with the dark.
It is also a human experience to want to know all of the details before we take a step. For those who are experiencing grief for the first time, or even a few times, we do not want to take a step into the hole; as we think we may not come out again. In other words it is scary, petrifying, debilitating. But there will also be some pleasant experiences and thoughts if we allow ourselves to be fully immersed in the grief experience.
It is for this reason, to try and portray and give an image of the light elements, may be useful for us to take a step into the ‘hole.’ So what might be ‘down’ or ‘in’ there? Maybe take a moment to consider what may be there for you, and then read on.
The main premise for even considering light in our grief experience is to do with love. If we had our life over, would we have still chosen to give our love to the person who has died? If the answer is yes to this question, then we can enter the grief ‘hole’ grateful for the light this person brought to your life.
In other words, although love is risky, as it usually will end in tragedy of some sort, you have still chosen to love another. Love can be a beautiful force, and what a privilege when experienced. Love will continue in some form for the rest of your life. So for the person has brought you light; you have experienced love personally, and from this, light you can take into your future.
Think back to those beautiful moments of intimacy; to the beautiful place you would be able to go, just the two of you, to escape the world for a while. To be held, to be wanted, kissed, caressed, to be admired, and to have someone give themselves completely to you. There would be regular moments, and then there would be others, quite breathtaking.
And you wanted them. How wonderful to be able to experience such passion for another. If you find the bed becomes lonely, think back to those moments, as no-one else experienced them in the way the two of you were able to treasure those moments.
As a couple you enjoyed moments with friends, that were only as special because you were sharing them. It may be, your friends may not be quite the same after the death of your partner, but the invitation is to not let this detract from the moments you have shared together. The fact of the matter is your friends loved having you around. It may be, just at this time, they do not quite know how to ‘handle’ the death for themselves, but, they also have the shared history of your freindship.
Those elements, although a little buried, will still be there, and if there is honest conversation, may have the opportunity to resurface. In the same way as intimacy, your friends would be happy they had the time they did, and if there was a choice, would have those moments again.
In fact in everything life will bring, going forward, you have the opportunity to take the special moments wherever you go. Memories are not there to be forgotten, but to be taken with you, as part of your life experience. Life experience will continue to have the gift of love, always to be treasured. May this bring you confidence to go into the grief ‘hole’ knowing a little more what is waiting for you. Next blog, I will bring both elements, darkness and light, together.
This commentary in this blog is intended to be general in nature. It is just some observations from one fellow traveller in life to another. If anything in this blog raises issues for you, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or consult with a trusted medical professional.