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Grief – triggers in unlikely places
Grief is, because love is #20
Things are ‘better’ these days.
The death of you beloved was around ten years ago. You have a mind full of precious memories, and with this ‘suitcase’ life is starting to open up again. The grief journey, and embracing all it holds for you, continues, and every now and then you find yourself grateful, more than normal, that you were able to immerse yourself in the love you experienced, and still remember each and every day.
Love is such a potent force, you cannot really turn it off, even after ten years.
Then, all of a sudden, bushfires hit! And you thought you were in a zone safe from where they normally are. Yes you are vigilant and follow all the firesafe rules, but this thing was so big, it has taken everyone by surprise. And as you look around to where things once stood, there is no feeling.
I was standing with someone, in their property, who was in this exact situation, and it was tragic to look at. Much like the picture above. Then out of blue it came out “Do you know what is the hardest thing in all of this?” “No tell me.” The reply comes “they are not here, and this has brought it all back. It is unbearable, and they have not been around for ten years.” I was fortunate, for only a brief moment, to be invited into their ‘inner world.’
It is hard enough when a disaster strikes. Any disaster is bigger than any of our capabilities, no matter how resourceful or resilient we may be feeling. What seems even ‘crueler’ is that prior grief moments come to the surface, taking us by surprise. It is a double whammy, in essence.
I have thought for a while now, grief is not an illness we get over. Grief is a critical journey we go through when there has been loss. And if the loss is a significant one, for instance, the loss of your partner, this journey will be more intense, and may last a lifetime. You have loved someone, and they have loved you. Love is the most potent force there is, and I believe cannot just be turned off. And because of this, your body, brain and emotions have to learn how to deal with it.
So when things intensify, as they did on this devastated property, it is because the loss was significant. How much ‘easier’ would have life been if the person was there to share the moment with, and then to reflect back on, when recovery has occoured. Even recovery may feel; well “what is the point?”
Don’t get me wrong, these emotions are raw, and real, and maybe we thought had been dealt with, but it is also a trigger that a significant person is no longer physically present, and you are still missing them terribly. No love cannot be turned off. It will probably be part of us forever, and that is a gift the person has left you.
This is the risk of love, which we as humans, will choose when it comes. It is too compelling to turn our backs on.
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.
Photo courtesy of the Hayley Family Vault