Grief can be a debilitating thing, and while everyone says time heals all wounds, those who suffer from the loss of a loved one knows that there is no formula for dealing with grief.
It can be that a month after the passing of a loved one, things seem okay. Then suddenly, a week (or month) later, the loss hits you hard once again. There are periods when it seems that the grieving process will never end.
It’s been a little over four months since my mom passed, but it’s only now that the grief is intensifying. It hits me at random times, but especially at night before going to bed. I didn’t think it would be this difficult, especially since we had been expecting it to happen for a year or so.
I couldn’t have been more wrong. As Meghan O’Rourke says, “I wasn’t prepared for the fact that grief is so unpredictable. It wasn’t just sadness, and it wasn’t linear. Somehow I’d thought that the first days would be the worst and then it would get steadily better – like getting over the flu. That’s not how it was.”
There are many ways people can deal with grief, but I’ve found that reading poems, quotes, and stories of how other people cope(d) with their loss help – even if temporarily.
Today, I’d like to share some quotes that may help ease that pain and yearning when grief hits you hard.
Here are some quotes on grief and healing.
1. There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love. ~Washington Irving
2. You will lose someone you can’t live without,and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp. ~ Anne Lamott
3. Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak knits up the o-er wrought heart and bids it break. ~William Shakespeare, Macbeth
4. The five stages – denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance – are a part of the framework that makes up our learning to live with the one we lost. They are tools to help us frame and identify what we may be feeling. But they are not stops on some linear timeline in grief. ~Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
5. Deep grief sometimes is almost like a specific location, a coordinate on a map of time. When you are standing in that forest of sorrow, you cannot imagine that you could ever find your way to a better place. But if someone can assure you that they themselves have stood in that same place, and now have moved on, sometimes this will bring hope. ~Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love
6. Grief is a most peculiar thing; we’re so helpless in the face of it. It’s like a window that will simply open of its own accord. The room grows cold, and we can do nothing but shiver. But it opens a little less each time, and a little less; and one day we wonder what has become of it. ~Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha
7. Everyone grieves in different ways. For some, it could take longer or shorter. I do know it never disappears. An ember still smolders inside me. Most days, I don’t notice it, but, out of the blue, it’ll flare to life. ~Maria V. Snyder, Storm Glass
8. Excess of grief for the dead is madness; for it is an injury to the living, and the dead know it not. ~Xenophon
9. I think you have to deal with grief in the sense that you have to recognize that you have it, and say that it’s OK to have all the sadness. ~Ann Richards
10. You attend the funeral, you bid the dead farewell. You grieve. Then you continue with your life. And at times the fact of her absence will hit you like a blow to the chest, and you will weep. But this will happen less and less as time goes on. She is dead. You are alive. So live. ~Neil Gaiman, The Sandman, Vol. 6: Fables and Reflections
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