Early in my grief journey, I met others who had lost someone to suicide long before my son Mike died in 2010.
I deliberately focused on a few who seemed to once again be living a life that seemed ‘normal’ for lack of a better word.
Yes, they had tough days, as we all do. They experienced stress and anxiety, perhaps at higher levels than before their loss, but most of their days were good or at least improving.
They included laughter, friendship, and joy. I began to think of these people as Way-Showers. Someone who was finding their way along this path, through grief, and into healing.
I would spend time reading what they had written early in their grief.
It was easy to feel the tragedy in their words, the heartbreak was palpable and something I knew, understood so very well from my own loss.
As I continued to read, to follow their journey through the weeks, months, and even years. What I came to realize very well was that healing didn’t happen on a time schedule.
Healing looks different for each of us.
I also realized that quite often healing seemed to be very subtle. Healing may begin to show up as a small chuckle, or appreciation for a hot cup of tea shared with a friend.
Becoming aware of this was huge for me as it showed me very clearly that the strong belief I held that grief healing was absolutely possible and was in fact being experienced by many.
Here I am now, so many years since my son Mike died in 2010. I have experienced more healing than I ever imagined was possible.
I often reflect on the writing that I did in those intervening years, particularly the early days. It shows me very clearly the path that I have walked.
Now, when I work with clients, I encourage them to reflect on how they are feeling now as compared to their earliest days.
Journaling is a powerful way of not only expressing ourselves and processing our feelings and also provides us with a map of our journey.
This makes it easier for us to develop an awareness of how far we have come. That awareness makes acknowledging our healing more gentle as it is so much easier to see and recognize.
It also allows us to show others that healing can and does happen.
One day at a time, one step at a time. We can walk this path, through grief and into healing.
Look to those who have gone before, the Way Showers.
Arm in arm, we walk this path. Through grief and into Healing.