Apparently many people who have NOT lost someone close to them, don’t understand that you will NEVER get “over this”. I didn’t understand before it happened to me, so I am patient with others who say comments such as, “Haven’t you moved on yet? It’s been a year!” Or, “I think you should be over this by now.”
A human heart is very impressive- it holds emotions and it heals. But it can also be broken. The entire first year after my husband passed, my heart physically hurt so much, as if it was literally bleeding. It felt like a gushing wound some days. I remember pressing on my heart with my hand like a gigantic band-aid and saying to my heart, “It’s ok, you can do this.” Year after year it began to heal, but just like any other bone or organ in your body, it heals slowly and only when cared for. When people would suggest things like, “It’s time for you to get over this” my heart would hurt even more because I began to think something was wrong with me. It took time, but realized friends are trying to help us in any way that they can think of and don’t want us to hurt anymore. Many times they are hurting, too and this reminds them of their own pain. Some friends can’t handle their own pain and leave us. I took this personally at the beginning, but have learned from friends being completely open and honest with me that it’s their pain that they cannot handle. I understand their side better now.
There were a lot of days I really wanted to get “over it”, but my heart hurt! I couldn’t magically make this all go away- no matter how much I prayed or tried to fix myself. Slowly I began to see that the people who told me to move on had never gone through the loss of a spouse. The more I get to know myself and others who are grieving, I know now that I will never get over it. This piece of my story changed my entire life. Having my husband die at age 40 changed everything.
Wow, grief is a sloooow process. It’s like watching a snail in a mile race trying to get over the finish line. Does that sound like it may get frustrating- well yes, it is. But you can’t hurry healing. Can doctors rush healing a broken bone? No- it takes time. It’s part of having a precious body- we have to take care of it and have patience.
No, you will never get “over this”, but we learn to cope in new ways. So don’t get offended if someone tells you to “move on”. What helped me the most was being aware that some people have not been in this situation and don’t understand. They may have never lost someone special to them and have no way of knowing how that would feel. I was nice to them about it and realized I couldn’t even teach them how much it hurt- it’s a life experience.
Instead of communicating with others who have not had a loss with someone in their home, I asked for advice from professionals and from others who had walked this path. I also learned that grieving is different for everyone, so You be You. This is NOT easy stuff! But you can and will find healthy ways to cope and grow. Growth is change and in that way, you ARE moving forward.