Grief. Oh, what a horrible sounding word. It even sounds like it feels bad. It makes your stomach hurt. It makes a stabbing pain in your heart. It takes your breath away.
I have had all of these thoughts and feelings in the last 7 weeks. Two days ago, I had an epiphany. Grief is really love for someone who is gone. Love doesn’t sound horrible. It doesn’t sound bad. It can make your heart feel a little fluttery sometimes and it can take your breath away.
When I really thought about it, we do not grieve someone we don’t love. We feel sorrow for the family but we are able to resume our life. When we lose someone we love, the love doesn’t go away. When we lose someone we love and is part of our heart, there is always going to be a little piece missing but the love is still there. Once I re-framed the thought process, missing someone we love is a positive emotion while grieving sounds like a negative emotion.
I found a few quotes on grief to support my thought process.
“I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are evil.” J.R.R. Tolkein, The Return of the King
” You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals completely – that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with a limp.” Anne Lamott
“Tears shed for another person are not a sign of weakness. They are a sign of a pure heart.” Jose’ N. Harris, MI VIDA: A Story of Faith, Hope and Love
“The darker the night, the closer the stars, The deeper the grief, the closer to God!” Fyodar Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment
“So it’s true, when all is said and done, grief is the price we pay for love.” E.A. Bucchianeri, Brushstrokes of a Gladfly
“Grief can destroy you–or focus you. You can decide a relationship was all for nothing if it had to end in death, and you alone. OR you can realize that every moment of it had more meaning than you dared to recognize at the time, so much meaning it scared you, so you just lived, just took for granted the love and laughter of each day, and didn’t allow yourself to consider the sacredness of it. But when it’s over and you’re alone, you begin to see that it wasn’t just a movie and a dinner together, not just watching sunsets together, not just scrubbing a floor or washing dishes together or worrying over a high electric bill. It was everything, it was the why of life, every event and precious moment of it. The answer to the mystery of existence is the love you shared sometimes so imperfectly, and when the loss wakes you to the deeper beauty of it, to the sanctity of it, you can’t get off your knees for a long time, you’re driven to your knees not by the weight of the loss but by the gratitude for what preceded the loss. And the ache is always there, but one day not the emptiness, because to nurture the emptiness, to take solace in it, is to disrespect the gift of life.” Dean Koontz, Odd Hours
These words are not my own but they are quotes that really spoke to me. You cannot grieve someone you did not love. You cannot love someone and not grieve when they are gone.
Grief = Love for someone you miss. Love always is a positive emotion.
She writes about life, death, grief, and recovery.