No Grief Cure

March 28, 2024

Dear Grief Witnesses,

There is no DIY, 12-step program, magic drug, life hack, or 13-week program that can “cure” grief.

It is something that each individual must undertake on their own terms and timeline. A 13-week program can help a griever with their bereavement and discuss it with others who are in the same situation as them. It doesn’t mean that, at the end of the program, they will no longer experience the effects of grief. Many people who have not experienced a significant loss find it difficult to understand this.

As I read and understand more about sorrow and bereavement, rituals come up. We are losing long-standing traditions that provided healing for the griever. I’ve heard that the funeral is a chance for the grievers to say goodbye to their loved one. For the majority of individuals in attendance, this is the case. These folks are sad for a few days or weeks before moving on with their lives. For those who are the spouse, children, parent, or dear friend of the deceased, this is only the start.

To be honest, mourning really begins the day after the funeral…

since they’ve been operating on autopilot up until this moment. They are numb. Life does not return to “normal” in just a few days or weeks. In actuality, there is an arbitrary number that indicates how long a person may anticipate being in intense mourning. One to two years for a spouse, parent, or dear friend, and five to ten years for a child. Yes, ten. And then, for the rest of their lives, they are STILL in mourning, but it is a lighter one that allows them to feel like they are living again. The grief ambushes do not keep them down for as long. Grief is not a temporary experience; it lasts a lifetime!

Grief does not feel comfortable or safe…

since no one has an idea how long or dark the agony will last. We must acknowledge as a culture that there is no way to avoid pain; rather, the ability to enable someone to grieve deeply is a survival skill. The only way to accomplish this is to let the griever get down and dirty with it. They need to feel all of the emotions that arise. And yes, that means the griever occasionally needs to be alone. Because, in the end, they are the ones who must do the hard work. It doesn’t mean you’re not there for them; they need you now more than ever before. It means that you should not judge how they are mourning. It’s difficult to watch someone you care about go through so much despair, but they have to if they’re going to make it out the other side—back to the light.

With all of my love,
Nicole

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  1. Thank you for sharing all of this with us. It is so raw and very real. I can honestly say as we are approaching the 8th anniversary of Cody’s death, that the 10 years after losing a child is a very true statement. Unfortunately it will hurt like hell forever until we join him, but my grief is beginning to soften a little as we approach the 8th year. Most days, not every day.😞Much love to you❤️❤️

    1. Missy,
      Thank you. Even though everyone’s grief journey is unique to them, there are components that all in grief can relate to. I think of you often as you go on with your broken heart. I’m “glad” to hear that your grief is softening knowing you will grieve for Cody until your dying day.
      So many hugs to you,
      Nicole

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