Grief seems like such a simple concept, but the truth is, it isn’t. Grief isn’t a simple concept, or a simple feeling. It is composed of a range of human emotions: anger, regret, sadness, and more.
Many of us think of grief as something that happens only when a loved one dies. While it is true that grief occurs when a loved one passes away, grief can also occur for other events. For example, grief can occur at the end of a relationship or friendship. It is similar to death, though not as final; it is the loss of the presence of someone deeply loved. It is the loss of the way things were when that person was around. Suddenly, one cannot turn to that person anymore, in good times or in bad. They have exited one’s life, sometimes never to return.
Grief does not have to be solely for a person, either. It can occur at any major life change. This can include a move, graduation, a job change, or anything along those lines. The reality about grief is, it can occur when anything monumental happens in one’s life. This could be a happy event, like moving to a new city for a dream job, or it could be a much sadder event, such as the death of a loved one. The important thing to remember is that feelings are valid. You don’t need to be grieving the loss of a person, or the loss of a happy time in your life, in order for grief to be valid. Grief doesn’t even require that the event or person you are grieving was a monumental part of your life. It just is. And that’s okay.
I believe there are two key ideas to keep in mind when speaking about grief, or when grieving. The first is this: the ending of one thing is also the beginning of another. The end of an era in one’s life is the beginning of a new one. The ending of a relationship or friendship is the beginning of freedom and openness to new people and experiences. In some religious traditions, the end of a life on earth is the beginning of eternal life in another state.
The second idea I have about grief is that you don’t have to forget. You don’t have to forget the good things. In fact, I encourage you to remember them. It is important to respect the memory of a person, a friendship, an era, by remembering them. The key is to let go enough that you can move on, but to hold onto the good. Our pasts make us who we are. We never lose who we once were – who we were when that person was alive, or was our best friend, or when we attended that school. We respect who we were by remembering. We carry those memories with us as we continue through life.
I’d like to recommend Heart in Diamond to anyone grieving the passing of a loved one. Heart in Diamond is a company that specializes in cremation jewelry. They use the ashes or hair of your loved one to create gorgeous diamond jewelry for you to wear, so you can carry with you the person you love. Heart in Diamond’s cremation jewelry makes it possible to keep some of the closeness of your loved one with you at all times. It commemorates their memory in the most beautiful way possible.
If you or someone you know is struggling with grief, please feel free to explore the links below.
For those of you who are grieving anything at all, I love you and I am thinking of you.