In the book 'Empty Cradle, Broken Heart', Deborah Davis makes a fundamental difference between grief, grieving and mourning. Fundamental because it describes how bereavement and healing embody both voluntary and involuntary processes.
After the early days you might perceive a ‘shadow grief’, sadness that remains in the background and occasionally emerges out.
"The size of your grief never changes and it doesn’t go away, it’s just that life gets bigger around it and that resonates with me now. You don’t move on, but rather now you move with."
"Grief never ends…but it changes. It’s a passage, not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness, not a lack of faith… it’s the price of love"
There is no right or wrong way of grieving, but it is possible to observe two basic styles of grieving:
activity-oriented (more inclined to assess and do in the face of adversity) or emotion-oriented (more inclined to feel and express emotion in the face of adversity), they can also coexist in the same person alternating in different occasions.
Grieving does NOT require expression of deep feelings (follow your nature!), it does NOT happen in stages and definitive time (it's unpredictable and not linear, comes and goes in waves), it does NOT come to an end with healing beginning thereafter (grieving and healing coincide).
What you can do with it:
-stay connected to your body and its sensations, letting grief find expression in alignment with your internal experience of it.
-whatever your style, grief is energy looking for an outlet, better to engage in it than put it off. Every time that you let the energy flow, its corresponding moment of relief is a sign of your healing.
‘By trying to control or fight against the wild horse of grief, it actually ends up controlling and fighting you.
Mourning it is often two steps forward, one step back and every time you face the pain it will lead to create a new normal, piece by piece.
Passivity only compounds suffering. Instead you can actively and mindfully feel what you need to feel and do what you need to do.
Misery is also part of mourning, for sure, but you chronic misery is not. And to warn it off it’s important to nourish and embracing positive experiences.
Ida Saoirse Scherer,
our first baby girl, who was born and died at 16+5 weeks on the 30th November 2017.
Resources about Termination for Medical Reasons
Sister-friend Emily writing for her first son Amari Regan (Fragile X Syndrome)
Katrina's blog for her second daughter April Rey (Trisomy 13)