Filush-Glaze: The after death nose dive
It happens every time, and yet each time that it does, people are surprised that it has happened to them. I’m talking about the undeniable and non-discriminatory action of the “nose dive” that seemingly appears out of nowhere, just when people think that they are starting to gravitate towards normalcy. Confusion, shock and disbelief are just a few of the feelings that are expressed during this time because they had somehow convinced themselves that after a few short weeks or months that they were “over the hardest part” and that grief was coming to an end. The harsh reality is that in most cases, the darkest and most painful part of grieving is just beginning.
Perhaps it is during this time that “reality” starts to hit and discussions start focusing on the fact that their loved ones really aren’t coming home and that they really are gone- forever. The despair of knowing that the roller coaster of mourning is now an ongoing foe that one must face daily becomes overwhelming and filled with fear. To be clear, not a single person will wait in line for hours to experience this ride and it is also one in which most of us ask to get off of sooner versus later, however, the sad fact is that unlike in the amusement parks, this roller coaster ride of life is going to last for a long period of time.
There are still those who cringe at having their thoughts and beliefs about grief challenged, the road being much more painful than they ever anticipated.
But, the harsh truth is that grief is often misrepresented and people are consistently misinformed about what grieving entails or how one typically grieves, and lastly, what to expect during the journey. So many individuals enter the ring of mourning believing that they are “stronger” than the pain they are about to endure and that they can “handle anything.” And yet, grief is something that not a single one of us can really put a finger on and say without a doubt that we understand it completely.
For most, we can expect upward climbs and treacherous obstacles in our paths followed by even ground and easier travels for a bit.
However, it is also common to then find oneself reeling backwards, stumbling and falling, taking that “nose dive” into the darkest recesses of our grieving, something that we never entertained could “happen to us.”
Keep in mind, even with the upwards and downwards aspects of grieving, we are still receiving direction. Our support system reminds us that what we are experiencing is normal and tells us that love is what will propel us forward.
Most importantly, we are reminded that because we truly loved someone with all of our hearts, that we can expect grief to be painful and never clearly “mapped out.”
We cannot press fast forward and we cannot simply state that “we are done with grieving” because unfortunately, it just doesn’t work that way. But, what we can do is give ourselves permission to experience the “nose dive” and understand that it is not a negative or bad sign; that we are human and to always remember that the opportunity awaits us to emerge stronger and wiser for having faced some of our darkest times.
Sometimes the “nose dives” allow us to dig deeper into our hearts and discover that in time, we have the ability to once again find happiness as well as acknowledge that the pain will indeed become “softer.”