After my husband passed away, I quickly realized how many contradictions occur during the experience of grief.
Take for instance, those special moments with your children. Those moments of pride for their accomplishments. You are so happy and so proud, but at the same time, you cannot help but dread the fact that you cannot share with your lost loved one.
Or perhaps those desires to see see photos, videos, of a loved one passed, so you can feel close to them, but at the same time you hesitate to look at them because of the pain and hurt they bring to the surface.
There is loneliness that consumes you, paired with the desire to be around others, however, you also want to be left alone. You long for companionship and to be with friends and family, but are burdened with overwhelming desire to stay behind closed doors.
You want your friends and family to reach out, but you are frustrated because you feel their support is empty or shallow, because you can’t find peace and comfort from them.
You may be grateful to God for having time with your lost one, and yet angry at God for taking him/her away.
I could go on and on about the duality that is grief, but I think you get the point. Grief is an uncomfortableness. It is being uncomfortable in your own body and mind, never finding any position or thought that can alleviate it. You try everything, but it never gets better. You have to just learn to live with it. It is an arthritis of the soul.
How do you treat this ache? Well, you can never really cure it, but what you can do is stretch it out and exercise your muscles. What do I mean?
Start slow, small steps, and let in some of what you think you need. For example, allow yourself a night out with friends. It may exhaust you, like if you were to jog around the block for the first time, but after practice you will get used to it, tolerate it. You may even feel good during or after. Pat yourself on the back for your accomplishment, and move forward. You are ready to go further, add more exercises, take another step. It gets better if you let it, and if you work it. But it is not going to get there on it’s own, you have to take responsibility and move it forward.
Take another step.