“get over it” “move on” are some of the common things people will tell you when you have just lost a loved one. What many people don’t know is that for many it will take many years to heal from the pain of loss and what they need the most is support and guidance.
A twitter user, Hally has some very valuable advise on the emotional process.
Hello, I’d like to talk about an important emotional concept that is seldom discussed outside the offices of grief counselors. It’s called re-grieving, and it’s why events and losses from your past still are still emotionally present in your life, and why they always will be.
In grief counseling, they teach you that losing a loved one is a life long emotional process. You don’t just cry for a few weeks and move on. As you grow and experience new things, you think “oh that person wasn’t here for this” and suddenly you’re back “in it.” Re-grieving.
This will happen at most major milestones (and even minor ones) for the rest of your life. If you expect yourself to move on and never had sad or hard days thinking about that person again, you’re wrong.
The thing about re-grieving is that you can’t repress it or run from it. You have to re-process it. Every time. You have to take the time you need to give yourself permission to feel, permission to grieve, and permission to know you will be okay. It’s self care.
Those damaged and unfulfilled ghosts of your old self need to be acknowledged and accepted, invited in, and consoled, when you make new milestones in your personal development. You have to accept that never thinking about something again is a non-reality. Let yourself grieve.
When you let yourself re-feel that old pain, when you sit with yourself quietly, in the sobriety of self analysis from a point further in your self development, it’s like gently cleaning a wound so it can heal. When you repress, deny, or ignore, it becomes a psychological scar.
Remember: cleaning a wound hurts. You have to stay with it when it hurts. Let your pain guide you to the epiphanies waiting to happen. What is your pain teaching you about yourself today? What is your pain teaching you about how to be compassionate to others today?
When you let pain lead you to self sabotage, or kill your hope, it is no longer productive. Here’s a link to a great thread of basic self sabotage indicators by the insightful
The point of this thread is not to say “you’re cursed to feel like this forever” — the point is that it’s normal for old, or long past emotional landmarks to revisit you sometimes, and that’s okay, and you should not feel unnatural, weak, or otherwise shame yourself for it.
It is when you shame or refuse to accept your emotions that they becoming overwhelming. By accepting them, and letting them pass peacefully, you allow them to recede gently. Kicking and screaming will only tangle you deeper in the thicket.