Recently, I wrote about the loss of my dear friend Nathlie. This entire weekend I couldn’t stop thinking about her. So as I am dealing with my own personal experience with grief I thought that I would write about grief. One of the things that I realized this weekend is that grief isn’t simply a mental condition. It is a sadness that affects our physical and emotional selves.
My grief experience has been with finding a grave or the loss of a couple of close friends and family members through the years. I think that with every loss that we experience the grief is different but the five stages of grief are the same. For those of you who don’t know the five stages of grief they are denial/shock, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
With each loss we experience the way we deal with it may be different. In the example of my search and finding a grave I didn’t know what to expect. There would be periods of calmness and then something would come over me and would feel like the wind had been knocked out of me. This would pass and I would regain my composure to be able to move forward. This went on for some time and at some point in my life I accepted that I had found a grave and would never meet my natural mother.
My second experience with adoption loss was realizing that although I had found my natural mother, the reality of finding and having a relationship with my natural father is non existent. The grief I experienced here was different and when I came to a place that I accepted this as the way it is I was able to move forward in my life. However, I never truly let go of the thought and hold onto hope that one day it may still happen but am realistic that it is not likely.
With the loss of my friend Nathlie, I didn’t have a chance to say good bye. I didn’t have a chance to tell her the things that mattered. So, with this loss, my experience seems to be different.
The bottom line is that with any and every loss there is pain and we all should know that is normal. I think it is a form of proof that we are living beings who have feelings. Each of our losses will help us to grow and be strong. Holding on to hope and finding happiness again is important and healing is part of getting there. Just because we heal from a pain or wound (loss) doesn’t meant that we forget, or won’t miss, or won’t feel sad, or won’t long for the person we lost. Doesn’t it just mean we are a better person because of what he had endured?