When people think of grief, the words sadness, hopelessness and pain often come to mind. Most people have heard of grief or experienced it first-hand, you probably wish you hadn’t. Everyone perceives grief as one of the most dreadful emotions and everyone attempts to escape it. See grief is just a strong feeling of loss, however people often associate this feeling with a loved one passing away. You would seldom hear people tell you about the grief they felt when they lost a friend, a lover, a job etc. People just brush off the feeling of loss instead of taking time to grieve the parts of them that NEED to be healed. By pushing the pain to the back of your mind or trying to get over it without allowing yourself to feel a wide range of emotions, you’ll end up feeling worse. It could get to a point where you think you’ve moved on but suddenly, you feel heaviness in your chest, you feel your eyes swelling up, you feel a lump in your throat and then you find yourself re-grieving. Re-grieving is so painful because it feels as if just when things are getting better, your whole world comes spiralling down.
With my experience of grief, it made me feel hopeless, sad, confused and empty. It isn’t a feeling I would wish on anyone. However, one thing I learnt is that grief is more a manifestation of love. When we think of grief, the last thing we would associate it with is love, by learning how to channel my emotions and analyse them after the initial shock reaction, I realised grief was just the love that you have nowhere to place. Grief isn’t feeling as if you have lost love, it’s feeling as if you lost the home where you put all that love.
The last thing you want to hear when you are grieving is that “things will get better”, “better days are coming” or “there are better things in store for you”. People will always try to say things or try to help, but no amount of comfort and there are no beautiful words that can ever fill the void of what you lost and that is the harsh reality about grief.
A question I often posed to myself was, how am I supposed to heal without closure? The truth is, no one “owes” you any form of closure and you won’t always get it. It is a wonderful feeling, having closure and knowing where things went wrong because sometimes relieving the past can give you a bittersweet sensation, it could either be an amazing reminder for you of the reciprocity of the strong emotions you shared with a person or something that will hinder your growth. If you’re going back and reliving the past, you aren’t grieving properly. Grief is a cycle, you need to revisit the past in order to come to terms with your emotions, however if order to move on, you SHOULD NOT stay on that step forever.
Coming back to the title, is grief truly love without a home? One thing I have learnt is that if love doesn’t teach you a lesson, loss surely will. Instead of wondering “why did this happen to me”, sometimes you have to ask yourself “what is this teaching me”. Let’s take the example of a loved one walking out of your life. Your initial reaction will always be shock and disbelief at the fact someone who you thought cared for you was just able to drop you so easily, without even glancing back at you. Then you begin to bargain, that’s what happens when you still can’t accept they left you. You will beg, you cry, you will try to find a compromise. One thing I’ve learnt, is that if they loved you, you wouldn’t need to do all those things, you don’t need to beg a person who wants to stay. When you realise this, congratulations, you’ve made it to the last step: acceptance. Acceptance is the most important stage for me, it occurs to you when you least expect it and it happens when you begin to think logically and not with your emotions. That is the step where I realized that in reality, grief is one of the manifestations of love. Whenever someone walks out of your life, you end up grieving, but then you remember all the love you gave the wrong person, it’s a beautiful thing knowing you can give all that love to the right person. During your period of grief is when it occurs to you that the person left you with so much love, so much affection put nowhere to put it down, it is sad, however this is why grief is love without a home.