Will I ever stop grieving?

A letter writer worries that he’ll never get over the loss of his brother and grandmother.

Grief doesn’t go away, says our elder. But you can learn to integrate it into your life.


Dear EWC

Good day, I lost my older brother about five years back. I’ve managed well without him, and thought I was over his death, but right now I’m not so sure. I also lost my grandma in September 2019, and I’d thought I was over that too. The reason I’m not sure I’m over it is because over the last week I’ve been thinking a lot about them, and especially today. I’ve cried multiple times today, and I don’t know why this is happening now. Does this mean that I’m not over it? That I’m still mourning their deaths? And if so, will I ever be over it? 


Amma replies

I am so sorry for your losses. Grief and loss are things we never get over. And, for most of us, we don’t want to ever “get over” the loss of someone we’ve loved. We want and need to remember the love that never dies and the memories that keep that love alive. Instead of “getting over” our loved ones’ loss, we learn to integrate their loss into our life, the life we need to create anew. I congratulate you for recognizing the grief you’re feeling and for having the courage to reach out for help. Not everyone is capable of such courage.  

My beloved husband and best friend died 25 years ago. I’ve created a whole new life without him, but I have never gotten over his loss or his love. For me, it’s like having a hole in my heart that is both empty and full simultaneously. I know that may sound crazy but it’s not crazy. It lets me know that death is a mystery I can’t solve; I can honor it, accept it, and weave it into my life through a variety of practices. In your letter, you express acceptance; perhaps what you’re craving is the honoring, the integration, and healing the pain of loss that you are carrying. 

There are shelves and shelves of books on grieving at the library or bookstore for you to explore. Seeking an experienced grief therapist and/or support group, may be helpful. Developing a daily writing practice (journal writing) was incredibly helpful to me. I recommend “Writing Down The Bones” by Natalie Goldberg, as a guide to writing without judging yourself or your writing. You can google books and articles on grief. Taking walks in nature gave me a place to grieve openly without judgment from anyone who doesn’t understand grief or nature. In your search, follow your heart; you may discover other ways to honor yourself than those I’ve mentioned in here. Most of all, remember that what you are experiencing is quite normal and even necessary. Grief doesn’t go away but it changes and you are changed by it. 

I invite you to write to me again, if this is helpful to you. Mostly, I send much love and best wishes for the healing you’re wanting. 

Article #: 477051

Category: Family

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