If you love deeply you will grieve deeply. Very true. However, this is not to be confused with suffer deeply. Suffering involves emotional torment such as guilt, replaying mistakes over in your head, withholding joy from self, sabotaging goodness in your life because you feel unworthy and so on. In all my years of being present at many end of life conversations, a common theme emerged often. The theme of hope that their loved ones would go on living and find joy after they are gone. Because I have heard this from hundreds of terminally ill people, I can assume the difference between them and someone who died suddenly is they got to voice it. I believe they represent the voice of most. No one wants to be forgotten, this is true. To honor them is not by way of tormenting you however, rather, doing things that highlight your love for them. Write, light a candle, donate to a charity, plant a tree, sit and cry as you listen to their favorite music, punch a pillow as you release the anger that can follow loss, eat their favorite meal, watch old videos with family, etc. When we do these acts, we associate love with them. Love, not shame, is what you want to access in grief.
Grieving can feel like suffering yes, but grieving is allowing all the emotions to arrive that are not voluntary. Grief hurts, makes us quiet, tired, ache, and even laugh at times. Suffering is more intentional of the discomfort we place on ourself with one goal: to torment. Guilt is one of the things I witness people having deep moments of torment over. All the things left unsaid, or hurtful things said, not answering their call, yelling at them etc. Holding onto these things and replaying over and over doesn’t bring them back, it just depletes you and keeps you from healing. Suffering seems to be a distraction from grieving actually. We are not allowed to get in touch with all the emotions that help us move with our grief. Torment keeps us stuck. We actually cannot easily access the sweetness of our times with this person if we are swimming in the self blame.
Where are you today in your walk with loss? How are you treating yourself and honoring the one who you miss? We are human, so yes, we make big mistakes that we will regret. We ask out loud for forgiveness or write them a note asking. We move forward and take our lessons from those mistakes and not repeat them. I feel comfortable saying that your loved one would not want you tormenting yourself as a way to prove you love them. Grieving deeply, by honoring all emotions that arrive is difficult enough without adding the torture of self punishment to it. Grieving allows for moments of connection with others, suffering is more shaming and isolating. Which one would you choose for loved ones after you die? Choose this for you as well. Seek professional support to help guide you. Your life with your beloved is much more than any mistake you made. Allow forgiveness of self and let yourself move into the experience of grieving … which honors both you and them. Deeply love yourself today as a way to honor the one you so deeply miss. Peace my friends.♥️
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