Don’t you hate it when someone says to you “it will get better with time!” I did, but now after more than 2 years, it makes sense. It doesn’t make it easier to hear, but I understand the comment now.
Losing a loved one no matter how long they were in your life is painful. Sometimes people with good intentions say things like “time heals all wounds” and although time doesn't take them completely away, what it does is give us the opportunity to realize something many never find and that is a connection to someone that can bring you memories of all the wonderful moments you were together. It can also lead you into depression and risk of dangerous health issues. Now that doesn't mean you should not grieve but what it means is that you begin to grieve in a more joyous manner. If your days, months, and years were happy ones then all those happy memories are right there waiting for you to use them to overcome your grief, one memory and one tear at a time.
Some health issues associated with grief that I’ve read on the internet (so you know it’s the truth)! "Grief increases inflammation, which can worsen health problems you already have and cause new ones. It batters the immune system, leaving you depleted and vulnerable to infection. The heartbreak of grief can increase blood pressure and the risk of blood clots" Really puts the expression broken heart into perspective! The pain will never totally go away but it will lessen. I lost my husband nearly 3 years ago and I still have so much sadness when I think about him, but I also now have some joy when I think of him! We laughed so much when he was here that I thought I would never laugh again after he died. I was wrong! I actually laugh a lot and usually it’s something about him. I have so many good memories and when I talk about him, it’s usually something funny he did, and I laugh as well as others around me. Just as when he was here, he would make people laugh. He was the funniest man I ever knew. Don’t think I do not cry still because as much as I laugh at some memories, I cry too.
I know now that time may not heal the grief completely, but it definitely lessens the pain. I've taken all that joy and wonderful things that he was and draw from them to improve my life. l cherish every minute of that time we had learning from it and realizing life will go on and grief will be a part of it but I can use it to cherish all that was good or stall out remembering only the pain of the loss. What would Ralph have wanted for me? I know he would not want me to give up and become caught in the pain never being the person that he loved and incorporating into my life all that caused me to love him.
When asked how long should a person grieve the answer is basically a lifetime but is it a lifetime of never-ending pain or one of growth and keeping memories alive. And when you move on in life it doesn't mean you forgot it means you've learned just how precious life loss and love are and not to ever take even one moment for granted because in the twinkling of an eye it can all change. Hope this helps someone. I know writing it helped me.