Today we are talking about the timeline of grief.
An odd topic to speak about so late in the process, I know. Nevertheless, I have covered a lot of ground in the weeks past, and it may have appeared that I believed all of these steps must be done and done quickly. Follow these steps, you are healed, and your grief is now completed, so you move on with your life, but that is not what I believe or want to communicate.
There is no timeline to the grieving process, but it is a process, which should come to an end—moving from the grieving process to grief, grief itself will settle into your life, your story and become a portion of your identity. Grief is a lifetime experience that has impacted and changed your life. The grief you’ve experienced will change as time goes on, and maybe you start the grieving process over because of new hurts that were not dealt with, additional circumstances to life, and that is okay if you do. Losing your child is all about you and God and how he can shape your life after loss, heal your heart after hurt and transform your life.
I am not grieving my daughter, but the grief of her loss has shaped a portion of my identity, my beliefs and morals, and how I deal with my kids now. It has shaped me, as I believe all grief does shape us, in one way or another. Being shaped by grief is not a bad thing. On the contrary, I think it is beautiful.
For me, it only took two months to go through the process and seven years to settle into the grief that is now a part of me. I rarely get sad when I think of my daughter. I haven’t cried about my loss in a while. I consider these are gifts from God. Honestly, I feel joy when I remember her, excited that I will meet her one day and at peace with losing her. Finally, I can take a deep breath and feel free. Not free from being her mom, but free from pain, free from fear, and free from loss.
Today’s Goal- acknowledge that wherever you are in your grief, still processing or seeing how this has forever impacted and changed your life.
Do you feel pressure to rush through your grief? Have you been told to “get over it”?
Do you feel like people expected you to grieve longer and are criticizing your freedom from that grief? Have you been told, “you must not have cared that much”?
Regardless of your story, there is no timeline for the grieving process, and grief itself is now part of what makes up your story. Therefore, do not let others tell you how to grieve or how extensive grieving should take. Just know that wherever you are in this process, it is okay. If it takes you years, then it takes you years. If it takes you days, weeks, or months, all of it is best for you.
What I am about to say may seem contracting to what I have said above, but is it worth mentioning. Remember, you may not have a clear heart or head to know what’s best during this time of grief. Ask Holy Spirit to guide you. Ask him if you are stuck and need a push. Ask him if you went too quickly through the process, and maybe you need to go back and work through some trauma, hurts, or bad memories. Involve others around you to help you through your timeline, someone you can trust and will guide with a gentle heart and a loving hand. This loss is your life, soul, and time to find what is best for you and stick to it. While you are learning your way, I encourage you not to compare yourself to others.
Do not evaluate your process or your grief with others. Instead, move through the steps with Holy Spirit. Ask the hard questions, feel the intensity of your loss, remember the moments that hurt, and know that it will be okay wherever you are at the end of this process. If you never feel the way I do, that is fine. If you don’t want to feel the way I do, that is fine. God knows what you need and what you want will be unique to you. Finally, while you are on this journey, do not shame or look down on those who feel differently from you. Our grief is all our trek and what someone does or feels is between them, God, and their family.
You have made it so far! I hope you are getting closer to God, your loved ones, and who you want to be moving forward., Remember to meditate on scripture during this time. Here is a suggestion:
“For everything, there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;” Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 EVS
Until next time.
Disclaimer, I am not a therapist or doctor. If you are considering hurting yourself or others, please seek medical attention. This advice and may not work for everyone.