Sunday, September 15, 2019

And So I Wait - DAY 15

And so I wait. I wait for time to heal the pain and raise me to me feet once again 
so that I can start a new path, my own path, the one that will make me whole again.

― Jack Canfield

For my fellow survivors of suicide loss, this is a reminder, and an important one.

There is no timetable for grief. There is no 'you've been doing this too long' about grieving. There is no 'you need to move on' that is applicable.

How long you grieve and when it is that you are ready to move forward, is up to you. No one else. No well meaning friend, no frustrated family member, no impatient employer. No one. You are the one who gets to decide when you are ready, and in what ways you are ready. No one else.

Sometimes, we get confused about what our grief is supposed to look like. Many of us have heard about Elizabeth Kubler Ross's five stages of grief. They include denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. I think those stages should be renamed. I don't think they are stages at all. They are components. They are not linear. We do not move from one stage and toward another as if we have left the former stage permanently behind. That is not how it works. Sometimes we are angry one minute, then in denial the next minute and then we sit in acceptance. But then a few days/months/years later, you return to anger and depression.

Here is a graphic. The image on the left breaks down the stages of grief into subsets of stages. You move down into certain stages, until you are ready to begin climbing the road back to peace and total healing.

The image on the right however, is far more accurate in terms of my experience of grieving, and of the experience of many others.

On the WYG (What's Your Grief) website, in the article The Myth of the Grief Timeline, the author says this:

Grief is not a race with a start and finish line, it’s a labyrinth of twists and turns and dead ends. Grief is like trying to swim past the break in the ocean – you wade in but every once in a while a wave comes up and knocks you back a few feet. You’re still deeper than when you started, but not as deep as you were before the wave hit.

So please be gentle with yourself. Be kind to yourself. Be patient with yourself. And move through your own grief on your timeline, no one else's. Understand that all the components of grief take time.

And that is perfectly ok. The way you are grieving and the time you are taking to do it, is perfectly ok.

You are perfectly ok.

I promise.