Every relationship we have is different; each love we experience is unique and so, too, is every grief.
Grief is not one single emotion. It is made up of many feelings including: longing, sadness, anxiety, guilt, anger, shame and relief, to name a few.
We each feel our grief differently, experiencing the feelings that make up our grief differently. Because death is permanent, when we have a deep connection to someone who died, our grief is also permanent (though it will not always feel painful). We need to embrace this permanence and understand how it keeps us connected to our love. The task is to learn to let go of your pain, not to let go of your grief.
When our mourning is successful, grief is still present, but it is no longer the most important or only important thing in our lives. But, when grief is complicated we may feel stuck in one or more of the emotions that make up grief, we may not be able to imagine a world in which we can feel joy and happiness again. It may be impossible to think of finding meaning and purpose in a future without the person we lost.
“Grief is the story of love after loss. It is not a state or a moment in time or a single emotion. It unfolds and evolves over time. ”
- M. Katherine Shear, M.D.