Much has been written about it. Many have studied it, myself included.
I don't believe a single one of us grieves the same way. Or over the same things.
Yes, death is the obvious reason to grieve. However, in my lifetime I have grieved for reasons other than death.
- Each time my heart was broken. At the age of 52 I still wonder if I will ever "get over" it. Of course, I have moved on, but man, oh man, when it feels like your heart has been put into the middle of the road and repeatedly run over and over and over...well, you either remember it too, or get the picture.
- Waiting for a call, text or email that will never come. Despite all the prayers in the world that it will.
- Getting divorced. I initiated it. Still, when the papers came that said it was final, I cried. (EDIT: this was when I was 23.)
- Getting laid off from a job that paid handsomely with excellent benefits. Even though I knew it was coming, and even though I had resources galore at my disposal to "move on," it was still awful. For me, my job didn't define me, but it certainly defined a lifestyle I had to learn to live without.
- The Tuesday before Thanksgiving when I got a phone call that said, "Honey, I love ya, but I gotta be moving on..."
- That one day I learned my best friend was marrying my fiance - the guy who made that phone call.
Those are just a small part of my lifetime's worth of grievable moments. There is no timetable for moving on, getting over it, picking up the pieces, that works for all of us.
For me, I cope with humor. I cope with eating entirely too much of the "wrong" foods. I cope with hiding in my basement for hours on end. I cope with sleeping. I cope with writing. I cope with meditation. I cope with yoga. I cope with the help of a gifted therapist. I cope with the help of not one, but two psychics. I cope with my dearest of friends who get me and don't judge me. I cope with listening to same song on repeat for as long as it takes.
We ALL put on award worthy performances for the public. We smile, though our heart is breaking. We get dressed and put one foot in front of the other even when the very last thing we want to do is leave the cocoon of our blankets. We put on mascara, even though we will cry. We go out for meals with friends. We toast each other because we have gotten through another day.
When we need a good cry there is ALWAYS a movie or two we can watch that we know will do it for us. Steel Magnolia's anyone? Brian's Song? ANYTHING by Nicholas Sparks.
A friend of mine shared this version of this song with me. It is haunting and beautiful and might make you cry. I can now listen to it without crying.
Which I guess goes to prove, life happens. We keep living and loving and moving forward even when it seems we can't.
Right this second, as I write this, I know of more than, oh I don't know, fifty different people who are all going through trying times. They are experiencing life at the sorrowful end of the spectrum.
Let's all just take a second, just one second, to close our eyes and send some love out there, to the people who are aching, who are sad, who are in need of the comfort of love although they may not be ready to leave their own cocoons quite yet.
Here's to all of us.
May the crawl out of the wreckage of grief go at exactly the right pace for YOU.
Listen to the river sing sweet songs, to rock my soul.