Grief is a dark place, so dark you wonder if you will ever see light again. While you’re grieving, you are struggling to find your way through a long tunnel of darkness and there is no light ahead. You wonder if you will survive. Maybe you won’t find your way out of the tunnel, a terrible thought, and one that adds to your sorrow. Courageous as you have been in the past, you wonder if you have the courage to face this new challenge.
It a life without a loved one worth living? Although you’re trying as hard as you can, you may feel mired in grief, and unable to escape its grip. You would feel better if you could see some signs of progress, and the list that follows contains many signs. Give yourself credit for each one because all of the steps you take, large and small, eventually count. The day will come when you realize you are moving forward on the recovery path. Watch for these indications.
- You don’t cry as much.
- You can tell your story without sobbing.
- You laugh again, although your laughter feels rusty.
- You have your first belly laugh.
- You are aware of the outside world again.
- You attend your first support group meeting.
- You continue to go to support group meetings.
- You want to help others.
- You think about establishing a memorial.
- You make a life change in honor of your loved one.
- You welcome quiet.
- You can be peacefully alone.
- You choose to live and enjoy the miracle of life.
- You remember your loved one and smile.
People have similar grief symptoms, yet each journey is unique, and no grief journey is like yours. As someone who experienced four deaths in six months, including the death of my daughter–mother of my twin grandchildren–I can assure you that sunshine will return to your life. Your loved one would want you to be happy. So make the conscious decision now, at this moment, to let happiness back into your life. Do this in memory of your loved one. You are worthy of happiness and can claim it for yourself.