Grief is not a segment of time or some sort of passage that is endured. It isn’t like eating or jumping where the action is obvious to others and the activity’s starting and stopping is definable. Grieving the loss of a loved one is more comparable to breathing. It is more laborious in some moments and in others you do it in your sleep. Sometimes the only way to even know if someone is breathing is if they are alive.
It isn’t a “crutch” that aids in your recovery only to be tossed when you get over it. It will always be there in everything, silently taking in and pushing out. Done without thought, just a reflex of survival. Making some things inconvenient and even impossible at times; yet even our denial won’t change the fact that there is no choice for grief. Our only privilege is the how.
And this is where you can start to appreciate the gift of grief. It is the continued expression of love for those who are not physically with us. It is their inclusion in the influential occasions they are missing and a memento in the insignificant moments of each day. It is that constant reminder of what you had and the acknowledgment that it was real.
So grief is not the punishment. It is the medal for those they left.