• writeforjoy 50w

    Here’s what I most want you to know: this really is as bad as you think.
    No matter what anyone else says, this sucks. What has happened cannot be made right. What is lost cannot be restored. There is no beauty here, inside this central fact.
    Acknowledgment is everything.
    You’re in pain. It can’t be made better.
    The reality of grief is far different from what others see from the outside. There is pain in this world that you can’t be cheered out of.When out-of-order death or a life-altering event enters your life, everything changes. Even when it’s expected, death or loss still comes as a surprise. Everything is different now. The life you expected to unfold disappears: vaporized. The world splits open, and nothing makes sense. Your life was normal, and now, suddenly, it’s anything but normal. Otherwise intelligent people have started spouting slogans and platitudes, trying to cheer you up. Trying to take away your pain.
    Telling the truth about grief is the only way forward: your loss is exactly as bad as you think it is. And people, try as they might, really are responding to your loss as poorly as you think they are. You aren’t crazy. Something crazy has happened, and you’re responding as any sane person would.
    Most of what passes for grief support these days is less than useful. Because we don’t talk about loss, most people—and many professionals—think of grief and loss as aberrations, detours from a normal, happy life.
    There is nothing wrong with grief. It’s a natural extension of love. It’s a healthy and sane response to loss.
    Grief is part of love. Love for life, love for self, love for others. What you are living, painful as it is, is love. And love is really hard. Excruciating at times.
    If you’ve found yourself here, in this life you didn’t ask for, in this life you didn’t see coming, I’m sorry. I can’t tell you it will all work out in the end. I can’t tell you things will be just fine.
    You are not “OK.” You might not ever be “OK.”
    Whatever grief you’re carrying, it’s important to acknowledge how bad this is, how hard. It really is horrendous, horrifying, and unsurvivable.
    And even though that thought—that you can survive something as horrifying as this—is unsettling and horrifying in its own right, the truth is, you will most likely survive.
    Your survival in this life post-loss won’t follow steps or stages, or align with anyone else’s vision of what life might be for you. Survival won’t be found, can’t be found, in easy answers or in putting your lost life behind you, pretending you didn’t really want it anyway.
    In order to survive, to find that life that feels authentic and true to you, we have to start with telling the truth. This really is as bad as you think. Everything really is as wrong, and as bizarre, as you know it to be. When we start there, we can begin to talk about living with grief, living inside the love that remains.
    As with grief, there’s no right way to explore this. Especially in early grief, there’s only so much you can absorb. Even if you had a deep attention span before.
    your loss, grief has a way of shortening that considerably. Take things in manageable chunks.
    I remember when I lost my father, shoving myself out into the world, frazzled hair, sunken cheeks, mismatched clothes, looking for all the world like a homeless woman, babbling on to myself. Trying to keep moving. Doing what was reasonable, expected, ordinary: groceries, lab work, meeting friends for lunch. Nodding back at people who told me everything was going to be OK.
    Holding my tongue, being polite, when therapist after therapist told me I had to progress through the stages of grief.
    more quickly.
    All the while, beside me, inside me, was the howling, shrieking, screaming mass of pain, watching this normal and ordinary person being reasonable. Polite. As though anything was OK. As though what I was living was not that bad. As though horror could be managed through acceptable behavior.
    I could see the fault lines running through everything, knowing that all these reasonable people talking to me about stages of grief, about pushing myself through the pain to some exalted vision of “getting better,” all the books that pointed toward getting out of pain by simply rising above it somehow—I knew it was crap. Saying so only got me labeled as “resistant.”
    How irrelevant it is to talk about grief as though it were an intellectual exercise, something you can simply use your mind to rise above. The intelligence that arranges words and dictates stages or steps or reasonable behavior is on a wholly different plane than the heart that is newly smashed open.
    Grief is visceral, not reasonable: the howling at the center of grief is raw and real.
    Just because you can’t fix grief doesn’t mean there is nothing you can do inside it. When we shift the focus from fixing your pain to simply tending to it, a whole world of support opens up. Validation and frank discussion of the realities of grief makes things different, even when it can’t make things “right.”
    Little by little, pain and love will find ways to coexist. It won’t feel wrong or bad to have survived. It will be, simply, a life of your own making: the most beautiful life it can be, given what is yours to live.
    #separation
    #wod

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    Separation

    Here’s what I most want you to know: this really is as bad as you think.
    No matter what anyone else says, this sucks. What has happened cannot be made right. What is lost cannot be restored. What is separated can't be joined.
    The reality of grief is far different from what others see from the outside. There is pain in this world that you can’t be cheered out of.
    ©writeforjoy