Is there really such a thing as recovery from grief?
Posted on 1st November 2012 at 12:34
I get asked this question quite often so I thought today would be a good idea to answer it. You see today is an anniversary. It is 6 years to the day since my much loved husband Kevin died following a short battle with skin cancer. I found The Grief Recovery Handbook in the year after he died and taking the actions detailed in the book was transformational. I think you already would have guessed I found it useful, after all here I am now running Grief Recovery UK! However did it mean I was instantly cured? No of course not.
Grief is the normal and natural reaction to loss. We grieve all losses to a greater or lesser extent and clearly a 22 year loving relationship ending so tragically was a very big deal indeed. Having done the book was I “recovered”? I still had difficult days, I would still find myself in floods of tears I was extremely sad. I wasn’t in pain. Right there is the difference. Sad is normal, Sad is ok. Today 6 years on I’m sad thinking that I will never again get to laugh with, hug or simply be with that wonderful man. However, the knife twist of pain when I think about my loss vanished when I first completed the actions in the book right back in those early days.
Recovery to me means that I can talk and think about the person who has gone or the relationship that has ended honestly. I can remember the good bits and bad bits in proportion without becoming bitter, angry or depressed. I can smile at the good memories and maybe shed a tear over the sad ones and that is all good. There are no “landmines.” Those topics that occasionally come up in conversation that used to trigger a painful memory. This was incredible freedom in those early days when others were stumbling around me making huge conversational gaffes in their efforts not to “set me off”.
Sometimes I get asked by well meaning people “doesn’t working with grievers drag up all that old stuff everytime?” My answer is simple – there is nothing to drag up. It’s all sorted – completed and let go of.
People often tell grievers to “let go and move on” and many more would if they only knew how. I was fortunate The Grief Recovery Handbook taught me how and yes I regard myself as recovered.
Today is my remembrance day and I will shed a few sad tears, smile at a few happy memories then carry on with my day as a normal, recovered human being.
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