The Other Side of Grief


Grief is the ultimate human experience that forces us to feel profound loss – the worst of all emotional experiences, accept those feelings and a new reality, gradually let go of the past and those feelings of sadness, reintegrate our memories and love shared back into our souls, and day by day, week by week, month by month and year by year, find ever greater hope, meaning and happiness again.

We must have certainty and faith in the hope that the deep vast emptiness in our hearts will one day be filled with the love that transcends time and physical death and that some day soon, what now seems so immediate, empty and terrible will be replaced by peace, meaning and even happiness.

The sadness and loneliness is telling us to reach out to others who also care about us and share what we feel and ask for what we need them to do to help us.

The waves of sadness will dissipate over time. We may recognize that months later, we are doing better, but with reminders and special dates feel another wave. This is normal and a necessary part of the process of letting go, healing and creating a new and more meaningful life.

Your anger is justified and a normal human reaction to the unfairness of life and death and the meaninglessness from our perspective at this time, the preoccupations and silliness of others’ behaviour and the foolish things that others say.

Your energy will return as will your sleep. Your heart will heal and become strong again. You will find deeper and greater meaning in the story of your life and meaning and enjoyment in your daily life.

We may want to shut things off with medication, drugs or alcohol, with busyness and distraction, with avoidance of things, places and people that remind us of our loss but we can only grow and heal by acceptance, patience and effort and remaining connected with those who care for us and those who have also walked this path of grief and healing.

We have to go through the motions even when we don’t feel like it: eat every meal even if we have no appetite, exercise when we don’t see the point, and get out of the house each day even if it would seem easier just to stay in bed.

We have to keep revisiting the places we’ve been, talking and thinking and living until it all starts to feel normal again.

This is the other side of grief.

The pain will be gone. You will look back with love, but instead of sadness, you will feel gratitude for the life and love you shared and how your life had been enriched.

You will be happy again.


About Davidicus Wong

I am a family physician. I write a weekly newspaper column, Healthwise for the Vancouver Courier, Burnaby Now, Royal City Record and Richmond News.
This entry was posted in Compassion, Coping with Loss, Emotions, Empathy, Growth, Happiness and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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