Grief Matured

I am very sorry that you are in a place where you would even be reading such an article.That said…
I am happy you are reading at all. Sometimes one finds it unfeasible to read anything for months. Be patient and have faith in yourself… your world will one day be brighter… there really is light in darkness.

After the death of our son Adrian ten years ago the make-up of our world totally changed. Life as we knew it suddenly became foreign and far away. Every single view or trust that personally defined us was transformed and rewritten.The pain of this unthinkable tragedy caused horrific disorientation. Our family unit and the role that each played was off balance and totally disorganised. I remember standing motionless in the dark looking through shocked eyes of grief watching the world move along with bold audacity of “normalcy”.Trying to grasp the ordinariness of daily living after the devastating loss of our 26-year-old son was impossible. We were crippled and dissolved into a joyless existence, void of colour, scrambling to take cover.Those early unforgettable days were long and lonely.The rippling effects were

enormous! I was certain we would never survive
or cope. I felt helpless watching my husband and Adrian’s big brother struggle in their own private way. We were travelling the loss profoundly differently.We were in the infancy of our journey and the compass for navigation was broken.

This all sounds pretty bleak doesn’t it? I share it with purpose. It helps to hear and read about the experiences of others when you are floundering around during those early days, months and years after child loss. We need and are desperate for a life-line while searching for a safe harbour. It helps to read or hear that there is possibly a future that will once again take encouraging form and perhaps even make sense.

Before I go on, I can’t express strongly enough that there is no agenda as to when positive shifts come about.We all experience them at different times and definitely in no particular order.There is some instability to the shifts as well.We lose our children under many circumstances making the components of what we deal with sometimes broadly unlike.That said, every Mom and Dad suffers greatly and there are countless similarities in our voyage.

Jumping ahead to today; I have been thinking a great deal over the years of how grief matures and how
it continuously changes shape. It certainly does not “go away” but the force of it softens. Eventually this unwelcome resident seemed to incorporate itself into our reconstructed lives.We began to respond to it

differently… we became surprisingly familiar with it. We embraced it for what it was.Absolutely not the challenge we were looking for, as you well know.The pain decreased slowly becoming more manageable to digest. Grief still visits on the oddest occasions but we now walk with this uninvited companion.Those walks are shorter and less difficult.We developed

a memory of “recovering” from waves of sadness. We learned over time that despite the undeniable injustice of Adrian’s senseless death, we were actually creeping forward without our son in this world.We,
in fact, experienced joy on occasion and then more often. It was shocking to gradually realize we were essentially going to come to terms with this and
find quality in life again.We re-emerged as different people in some ways while discovering cheerfulness and becoming useful human beings once again.We now experience an odd sort of peace and comfort with grief. In that peace and comfort we can budge. The sadness is always there (because we can never forget our children) but certainly not “Up Front”. It no longer controls us.

With much courage, determination and support “Grief ” has a chance to mature and we grow up with it. We become reconciled. How can it be otherwise? Our world is filled with unbelievable tragedy, pain and loss.There must be something built inside all of us to eventually find our way. What a gift… otherwise the planet would come to a complete halt.

By: Helen Jay