One of the keys to living a human life is equally accepting the joys and the sorrows of our short time on this earth. We love to celebrate good things like birthdays and marriages and births, but when it comes to the sadder side of bouncing on this mortal coil, we often turn inward and inky and ask for privacy, and sometimes, we might even feel ashamed for feeling desperate and undecided. We need space and room to grieve because grief is the price we pay for love and friendship even though we may be reluctant to settle that barter.
If we believe to love is to grieve, then we must always be prepared to accept loss in our lives. We can love something and someone so much that when things and people are removed, we feel as if a hole was rendered in us and many of us have no idea how to heal that gaping depth.
The most popular form of grieving is to change the topic, and “get over it” and move on and repress the sorrow and the pain. We Americans are encouraged to “buck up” and let life flow around us.
What if we are unable to use joy to replace our sorrow? Why should we expect joy to be more powerful that our sorrows? We cannot drown in the depths, but we also cannot be rescued from our pity by the buoyancy of happy thoughts alone.
We need to be allowed to grieve in our own time and in our own public want. Nobody else can set a timeframe for processing sorrow, and to expect anyone to dishonor their grief by fidgeting it away into meaningless, sunny fusillades, is unrealistic and inhuman.
There’s nothing wrong with feeling sad or gloomy. Honor your bad days as well as your good days. If you are suffering a loss, absorb the hurt and honor the grief that consumes you. The only way to heal the grief is to accept, recognize, and give value to the pain — and when you’ve reconciled those hard, and unpopular feelings, you can slowly begin to bring back the ballast into your life to set you off on the path again of a sustained and neutral buoyancy.
The more people suppress their gloom the worse it ends up being when it overflows, I’ve noticed.
That’s an excellent observation, Gordon. The grief must be dealt with and given meaning or it will quietly eat you up on the inside.