Challenge and Hope in Real Bereavement


“Bereavement challenges us to live again, resist diminishment, and learn ways to salvage some happiness from heartbreak.”

I currently sit here and sip my coffee as I wonder, “Is there really anything else that needs to be said about this quote?”  Part of me says, “no…..if a reader has lost someone they truly and deeply loved, they will get it.  If not, they won’t.  It’s that simple, isn’t it?  After all, the world is truly separated into two groups: the grievers, and the non-grievers.  The griever group is one that no on wants to be invited into, but once you get into it….there is no turning back.  You just cannot get it until you get into the group.  The heartbreak, the aching body from emotional pain, the depression…Dear Lord, the depression that takes away your very life, and the learning to continue to live on without a part of you.”  The other part of me screams, “There is so many facets of that quote.  Much to be said about it.  Explain it.”  So, dear readers, I am siding with my latter of the two.

Let’s discuss bereavement for a few sentences.  Anyone can get “bereaved” from the loss of anyone they even sort of knew.  There is a small grief to any loss of a person you even slightly knew.  But, the real bereavement comes from the loss of someone you intimately loved.  A parent, sibling, husband, wife, child, etc.  When you lose someone like this, you truly lose a part of you.  Part of your very identity.  We are almost thrown into an instant identity crisis as we have to discover who we are now without the loved one.  1 year and 1 month after my father’s death, I am STILL asking myself, “WHO THE HELL AM I?!?!?!?!?!”

Now that I have distinguished between “bereavement” and “real bereavement,” let’s get back to this quote.  When we are forced to endure “real bereavement” we are very much challenged to continue to live our lives.  I can ensure that all of us who have lost someone dear to us have at least ONCE thought, “I want to die…God please, please, please take away my life.”  Also, many times we diminish our very lives.  Thinking we are so much more less without this person.  Our hearts are truly broken…shattered and torn.  I am guilty of all these things.  Very much so.

Everything about bereavement is negative.  Nothing is positive.  We are challenged to somehow begin to find happiness from the heartbreak.  It may take us awhile to find this happiness, but think about how much this changes us….and for the better.  I believe “real bereavement” does challenge us every day, but that through this we learn the preciousness and beauty of life.  We learn to no longer sweat the small stuff and began truly appreciating the finer things in life.  All because we have been through something heartbreakingly real.  “Real bereavement” is so very painful….but isn’t there some hope in it?  I see some.  I now see and appreciate the beauty, while no longer fearing the small “issues.”  I live in the moment.  No longer in the past, or the future.  That, my friends, is the hope in “real bereavement.”  The challenge in which it gives us.

 

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