Our latest blog explores if there is a "right" way to grieve and dives in to the connection between grief and love.
Grief, like death, is an unavoidable part of life that everyone will experience. It is an essential part of the human experience, and it is for that reason that it fascinates us. We have tried as a species to pinpoint exactly what grief is, where it comes from, how to deal with it. There are many theories, studies and books out there that will explain how you should experience grief and why. The truth of the matter is, it is entirely unique to each person. Everyone experiences grief but they also experience it differently. We can choose how we understand it in a way that brings us comfort, whether separating it into five stages makes you feel secure, or a prayer helps you get through the day. I have experienced loss in my life, and my personal philosophy on grief can be summarised by the following: “Grief and love are sisters, woven together from the beginning. Their kinship reminds us that there is no love that does not contain loss and no loss that is not a reminder of the love we carry for what we once held close.”- Francis Weller. Grief, for me, is an extension of love, not love coming to an end. Queen Elizabeth II once famously said “Grief is the price we pay for love”. I prefer to think of grief as loves opportunity to persevere, just in a different way. You can’t have one without the other it’s true, but losing someone and no longer having them to turn to when you need them unlocks a new level of love you might never have thought possible.
When you lose someone you love, the feeling is often compared to having a hole in place of where that person once was. An empty space no longer occupied. In my personal experience, there is no empty space. That space that once held a person now holds every memory and piece of advice she ever gave me, every laugh and every cry. I hold that space dear and look to it often in my times of need. I draw strength from it. I know that while grieving you can be peppered with cliches from well meaning friends and family, and hearing that it’s going to be okay over and over starts to lose its meaning. The truth is, it’s never going to stop hurting. You’re never going to stop noticing the space. Try filling it with love and then noticing it may not be so painful. Noticing turns into reminiscing and you realise that hurting is really yearning. Yearning to hear their voice again or have one last hug, reminding you of how much those things meant to you in the moment. Yearning just confirms what you already knew, love doesn’t run out when someone dies, it continues to blossom.