Grief and Love go hand in hand; grief cannot exist without love. Love is at the heart
of every relationship and has differing degrees of intensity. It ebbs and flows,
with peaks and troughs throughout our lives.
The love of a child for its parent changes with time, as we grow older and more independent
and life knocks the edges off the security blanket we all carry around with us as
children. But the love of a parent for a child can lose nothing over time. Indeed
as we grow older our parents may grow more anxious that something awful might befall
us and they are powerless to protect us.
The love of a man for his wife or a woman for her husband changes with time. From
the passion of the honeymoon period we settle into each others company, happy to
be together and assured of a strong, solid friendship. Having somewhere we can call
home reduces our stress levels considerably.
Grief is not just about Death. To various degrees Grief manifests itself when a marriage
breaks down or a friendship ends or when we are made redundant. Grief is a very important
part of life. It helps you to understand what has happened to you and understanding
is at the heart of beginning to come to terms with your loss. The road is long but
it will ultimately bring you back into the light and you must not forget hundreds
of millions have trod the same path.
But we should not allow a fear of grief, to colour our view of the world. That would
be doing ourselves an injustice. Life is for living, it is about learning from our
mistakes, learning from our frailties and trying to make ourselves better people
for it. We would miss out on so much happiness if we allowed the fear of grief to
stop us forming relationships with others. Happy and sad, two sides of the same coin.
When we are faced with the death of someone we love dearly it is difficult to retain
some semblance of normality.
But you shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that the intensity of your grief mirrors
the intensity of your love for that person. There is no point trying to reason with
grief, all you can do is try and ride it out. Keeping your mind busy helps, it is
also a time to look to your friends and family to give you support.
Grief is an intensely personal emotion. Platitudes like “I know how you feel” are
of no real use to someone who is grieving because people can’t know how you are feeling.
They can only guess.
Soldiers returning from war often cannot talk to their families about their experiences
and can only find comfort in talking to those who were there as well. It is the same
Talking about it helps enormously; shared family memories can help to start to get
things in perspective when dealing with the loss of a loved one. Do not bottle it
The charity Cruse is a very good organisation, staffed by Bereavement Counsellors
who can also help in this respect.
AgeUK has a wealth of information about Bereavement on its web site. Click on this
link to access it.
A newly added resource is the Counselling Directory. Click on this link to find a
Bereavement Counsellor near to where you live.
Finally do talk to your GP about the options available to help you.
As I said on the previous page the grief of bereavement can be extremely painful
for those left behind and understandably will cloud their view of the world.
In the early stages many find it impossible to imagine life going on as normal. But
it does, as day follows night.
I have found that the words of the 17th century writer Michel de Montagne give some
comfort in that respect. He wrote
“There is no road that doth not have an end and, if company is solace, doth not the
whole world go the same way?”
Since the dawn of time Men and Women have pondered on the meaning of life.
I have put together a few quotes from ancient times up to the present day that may