Good grief. What a statement, one that I dare say the majority of us have all used… and some may still use.
“Good grief, Charlie Brown!” Peppermint Patty is notorious for using this phrase. Just watch a Charlie Brown Christmas and take notice to her use of this expression.
Grief. Is grief good? Is it really like that of the statement good grief? This question really poses a lot of thoughts for me. Does it for you too?
Grief is an interesting emotion. It expresses a feeling from the sense of loss of someone or something. That being said, the depths of grief vary for each person, the scenario, and in the actual stages of grief itself.
I’m going to venture to guess that each of us have lost a; loved one, a good friend, spouse, grandparent, a pet, or co-worker. With the loss of each person or pet, we have a uniquely different relationship with grief. This means that some loved ones are easier/harder to deal with than others.
I’d like each of us to take a quiet moment and think about someone that means a lot to you that has passed away. Think about the top three things that come to mind when you think of that person. What are you feeling as you think about them? What emotions surface? What sort of special connection did you have with them? Why did they, the individual or pet that they were, mean so much to you?
If we feel grief, which is a normal reaction to loss, that means we are feeling. Not only are we feeling, but we are expressing our grief in our own unique way. Some people feel sad or lost. Some cry. Others distract themselves, as to not have to feel or express the emotions that are ready to surface. Some individuals get angry, then sad, and then are at peace. My point is, is that everyone reacts to grief differently. Furthermore, there is no time frame of when the grief process changes for each individual. Grief can be hard, confusing, angering, and suffocating to some. Other times it can be sad, then peaceful and eventually refreshing. And for others it can be some of all of these feelings and expressions felt over an unending length of time. There is no telling what is going to happen for each person, what they are faced with experiencing the loss of a loved one.
I want to share a story of grief. I’ve a friend that lost a loved one a while back. This friend is a special lady to me, and when she lost one of her children it was hard on her entire family to say the least. A few years after losing her child someone had came up to me and asked how my friend was. I said, “Doing better, but everyday there are memories that surface so grief is certainly a process. Some days are good and others are hard.
The individual then said, “She should be over that by now. It’s been long enough.”
I looked at the person absolutely mortified and said, “Umm, I’m sorry but have you lost a child?”
I paused and the person replied, “No, I haven’t lost a child.”
I then continued, “Grief is different for everyone and there is NO timeframe to grief’s process. I’ve not lost a child, either, and I can’t even begin to understand the gravity of loss when losing your own flesh and blood. I mean, seriously.” I then paused as I calmly continued. “I don’t think you meant exactly what you said, that instead it just came out wrong.”
The person nodded their head and said, “Yeah, I didn’t really mean for it to come out that way, but gosh, one would think it wouldn’t be so bad since it’s been a few years.”
I heard what the individual said and I shared once more, “Grief has no timeline. Grief happens in stages. To each person and circumstance it is different. We can’t tell a person just to ‘get over it’. It’s not that simple. In order to heal we need to go through the grieving process, and to everyone that is going to look different. We can’t judge a person for taking a longer amount of time grieving their special loved one than the person that grieves the opposite. Again, grief has no time frame.”
The person looked at me and responded, “You’re right about that. Grief doesn’t have a time frame and I gave it one. I shouldn’t have done that.”
I nodded slowly, and gently smiled. “It’s okay. Sometimes our words get us into trouble, don’t they?” Then we both chuckled.
This story always comes to the forefront of my mind when I think about grief, because it truly expresses how we can put a time frame on the grief process. How we can judge someone that’s grieving? How wrong it is for us to do that. Sometimes, we ought to take a step back and look at the big picture and be there for our loved one that is grieving, instead of judging them.
Again, I want to re-state… grief is a process. To each person the grieving process is going to look different. Time is a healer, and with time we can all heal when we lose someone we love. Remembering all of the wonderful memories made with that special person, the good times had together, and knowing you had a special bond with them, are all great memories that we will always have to comfort and hold us when we’re feeling down. Days, weeks, months, and even years of memories are treasures for times when we need them most.
Wrapping it up.
Good grief. (no pun intended…jk!) Grief can be good, no doubt about it. Yes, there will probably be some hard days, weeks, and even months, but time is a healer. When any of us lose a loved one may we each remember that grief has no time frame. Express your emotions and let time, memories, and loved ones help heal in the sense of loss that is experienced.
Now a special reminder before we part ways today. Remember to say, “I love you” more. To give hugs to people. To take the time to write a note, letter, email, or send a text message just saying, “Hi! Been thinking about you and wanted to let you know!” Take the time to do the little things that really do matter! Don’t pass up the opportunity, because you might not have a “next time”.
On that note, thank you for taking time out of your day to connect here on the blog! We appreciate it and most of all we appreciate you! Good grief, have a fantastic day!