Grief is a reaction to loss. Loss equates to a death, a death of something or someone. Death comes in many ways, many forms. There is the death of a relationship, the death of a job, the death of a dream, a goal, or an idea. And there is the death of a person.
We tend to think the death of a person is our most difficult loss, our biggest loss. It may be our biggest loss because it is irreversible but maybe, just maybe, the death of a relationship is the hardest loss.
Not to diminish the emotional pain that comes with physical death. Our grief is devastating. It physically hurts, our heart screams. We are angry, fearful, isolated, and oh so sad. We are forced to figure out how to go on living with a huge piece of what has been our life missing. We are forced to recognize that our life will never be the same again --- because this person will never be physically in it again.
The grief that comes with the death of a marriage or a relationship is very similar to the grief that comes with the death of a person. It physically hurts and our heart screams. We are angry, fearful, isolated, and oh so sad. We are forced to figure out how to go on living with a huge piece of what has been our life missing.
We must recognize that our life will never be the same again BUT now we have an added piece to our grief. The person, who is no longer in our life, might be in someone else’s life. We might see them on the street or Facebook (particularly if we check their Facebook page, which we do). Added to this loss we have a maybe attached. Maybe, we can get back together, maybe he/she will change, maybe he/she will want me back, will come back. Maybe I’ll bump into them when I go to the grocery. Maybe, maybe, maybe!
The death of a person forces us to live without them. Our mind eventually recognizes we must adjust. Time begins to ease the pain, to fill in the space with other thoughts and gradually, ever so slowly, we learn how to live with our grief. We don’t recover but we do learn how to live without this person in our life.
The death of a marriage or a relationship doesn’t force us to do anything. It allows our mind to tease us, to tempt us into believing, hoping, there has not been a death at all. This kind of death pulls on a different aspect of our personality and life lessons. It gives us the opportunity to address self esteem, control, and discipline issues (not tracking on Facebook). And as we work with our grief time begins to ease the pain, to fill in the space with other thoughts and gradually, ever so slowly, we learn how to go on living.