How Long Will This Hurt?

How Long Will This Hurt? (Melinda Laus)

When someone you love dies, the pain can be cruel.

Unrelenting. Possibly bigger than anything you have ever felt or experienced before.

It can feel like it will never end, never change, never get better.

When you are in this place, and your pain is so big and you are overwhelmed, you must still reach out.

It is hard enough to go through this grief -  do not go through it without help.

And still, even with help and support, you must be asking yourself,

How long will this go on?

The simple answer is that it will not always be as intense as it is in this moment for you.

The intensity and duration lessens. It changes.

But it never really goes away.

Not completely.

Remember that your sadness is the other side of the coin of your love. How deeply you loved is also how deeply this will hurt.

Grief is like waves on the ocean. Sometimes the waves are enormous and crashing; pure power.

Other times, the ocean is calm. The waves are mere ripples in comparison. But always there is movement; there is the rise and fall of tides, storms as well as calm.

Grief is very much this way.

I remember early days when the waves overtook me; it felt like I was stuck in a constant storm.

Every day was a new experience in loss - something new to grieve. Each day brought new ways to notice the impact of David’s death and how it was ripping my life apart.

I couldn’t grocery shop, get a haircut, sit in traffic, or talk with a friend without a powerful wave crashing on my inner shores. I charted my days by how long I could go without collapsing into sobs and pulled under by the current of my own emotions.

I judged my own progress based on how long I went between waves. As if not feeling more meant success.  

I see now that my success was in allowing myself to be pulled with these waves and guided by my emotions. I made progress each time I gave myself permission to feel the depth of my sorrow, to release my tears and allow the pain of loss to work its powers of  transformation on me.      

And now after years of this ebb and flow - storm and calm; I am still here. Still answering to the pull of the tides and the wisdom of my emotions to guide me forward.

There are fewer and fewer storms reaching the shores of my life.

And yet the storms still find their way to my shores - even now.

I no longer wail at the seas for storming or at this pain for once again visiting.

I see now there is a purpose to these feelings -  to this release.

There is no getting over this loss. There is only folding it into my life.

The beautiful memories, the incredible love that we shared and the sorrow. It will hurt forever because he will be gone forever.

Yet, there is still room for the hope of something beautiful again.