Sometimes when I’m working with a grief coaching client, they will ask, ‘Is it okay if I don’t cry every day? If I laugh at a joke or enjoy a meal with someone, does that mean I never really loved them at all?’ It’s a sincere question and it seems to plague so many. It breaks my heart all over again for each person.
Someone comes into our life, and we come to care deeply about them. This may be a pet, friend, neighbor, relative, life-partner, etc. We come to love them.
Relationships aren’t simply calm and smooth. Most have disagreements, incredible joy, frustration, comfort, passion, irritation… I think you get the idea. Those times that we are not in sync contribute to the complexity of our relationship. Working through those times and finding ways to support and care for one another often bring us closer together.
When we are both in the land of the living, we don’t expect to always have the other on our minds. We enjoy activities with others. We read books, watch movies, go to the store, continue our careers, usually without this one we care about so much at our side.
So, when I’m working with clients, I remind them that their relationship continues, long after one has crossed to The Other Side. It’s different in many ways, but in a surprising number of ways, it continues.
To my way of thinking and believing, trusting in the depth of caring means that it is indeed alright for us to feel relief. To laugh, and even forget the pain for a while.
As healing happens, the pain softens. And the feelings that we experienced when we were together, become more clear again. This doesn’t happen all at once and it doesn’t happen overnight. It happens a little at a time. Much the way our caring relationship deepened in the first place. So yes, we can grieve while we are healing. It’s okay to laugh when your heart is not whole. It’s okay to feel just a bit of relief today.
We grieve because someone we love deeply is no longer with us. As we heal, the grief begins to ebb and what remains is love.
Remember, love never dies.