Grief is a state of existing between the living and the lost.
We desperately crave being with our lost loved ones and of course we want to hang onto to them as much as possible. At the same time, we are forced to still function in the here and now, in the world around us which is now suddenly different, distant and disconnected from us. It can feel like we are literally stuck between their world and ours.
This conflict can create a lot of guilt, anxiety and paralysis.
There many reasons why we may get stuck in this limbo between life and loss:
- the worry that other people will mistakenly think we are “over it” or that our loss doesn’t matter
- we get pulled into a tailspin of guilt and anxiety that we can’t seem to find our way out of
- we feel like we are betraying our lost little one if we express happiness, laughter or enjoyment
- we feel like we are disappointing those around us who want us to “be better” or who needs us
- it can feel like we are abandoning our lost little one or leaving them behind when we start to feel good again
This list can go on and on and may look different for everyone.
Grief and enjoyment are not likely to co-exist in the same moment but that doesn’t mean that it is wrong to feel either one when they occur. These two states are not in competition each other and yet it can often feel like we only suppose to feel only one. And that becomes an agonizing catch-22: we either feel guilty for feeling too much grief or not enough.
Both the beauty and the pain are worthy of your attention and care.
This week’s Q & A video dives into the challenges, conflicts and contradictions of life after loss as I offer some support to a woman who is bravely enduring what is perhaps the most intense version of this limbo possible: raising one surviving twin while mourning the other. So check out how I respond to her question in this week’s #askApril Q & A and how the tools I offer apply to everyone who is coping with life after loss.
Here are some of my key points:
- What you need to know when people say unhelpful things like “well at least…” or “just be grateful…”
- Why we need to make space for both the grief and for the sensation of being alive
- Why we sometimes mistakenly use our suffering as a measurement of our love
- How you can honour your lost little one with your tears as well as with new joy
Check it out here and if you found this useful, I would love it if you shared it with a friend. You would be helping me in my mission to break the silence and isolation of baby loss and to get this work out to those who need it. Thank you.