FamilyGrief

The Beautiful, Unpredictable Timeline Of Grief

When I lost my son in 2004, I hid myself from the world.

There were days I did not get dressed. I did not want to face anyone who would mistakenly ask, “How are you doing?” The answer was too long, horrifying. It felt like agony to even think about how I was doing.

I don’t hide any longer, but I still go it alone. My grief likes to be by itself, without company. And I allow it to take as long as it likes.

As an empath and intuitive healer, I’ve been tapping into a collective grief. Whether you are reacting to the devastation of the Australian Fires or facing the loss of a loved one, grief is one of the deepest human emotions we experience.

I also feel an opening around the energy of grief, an invitation for people to process it on their own terms, which has not always been the case: Grief has been put on a timeline—either by ourselves or another. Grief has been an inconvenience, a feeling we would prefer not to feel.

But when we open to it fully, grief doesn’t need to be scheduled or inconvenient. To allow ourselves to feel whatever is coming up is actually a relief.

Grief comes in waves, and passes when we allow it to come and go, much like ocean waves. At times, the current of grief is so strong that it pulls us away from shore, leaving us treading water. Do not panic. We will find our way back when the waters are calm.

Whether grief lingers for a moment or a year does not matter. We jump back into life when we are ready. There is no shame in feeling like we are too sad to take part in life.

And even when we allow ourselves to feel grief outright, it can also burrow itself into our body. For me, I feel it as an ache in my heart, which is why the term “heartache” feels so appropriate.

Although my son passed away 16 years ago, I unearthed more grief around his loss a few months ago, unexpectedly.

On my way to the mall, I drove past a turtle trying to cross the road. Wanting to help, I turned my car around. By the time I got back to the turtle, it was too late. Another car unknowingly ran it over.

I was devastated and began sobbing. I sobbed for the turtle, who simply wanted to cross the road. I sobbed for myself, who witnessed life and death so up-close-and-personal—it burned a hole straight into my soul.

I also sobbed for my son.

It appears, even after all this time, I still had some grieving to do. There is no better time to heal past grief that we unknowingly push aside than when life gives us the opportunity to do so without asking.

I feel we all have an opportunity to process our grief, both obvious and hidden, within the chaos we are confronted with these days.

Do not underestimate the effect life has on us. We live in a chaotic world that seems to play with people’s lives like a casual game of tag. Taking time each day to care for ourselves helps. When we release what we take in, we breathe easier.

Our world is changing, shifting. We are taking off the masks we used to hide behind and walking toward truth and humility. The time is now.

We can wake up kicking and screaming, or we can take someone’s hand and walk away from the past’s brilliant disguises toward a future that is more authentically us. The energy is right. Let’s welcome our grief and come face-to-face with the unconditional love within our hearts.

Related

About the author
I am here to give a Voice to the Voiceless. Follow Beth on Instagram or read more articles from Beth on Thought Catalog.

Learn more about Thought Catalog and our writers on our about page.