Men in particular, I think, struggle with grief, are a little afraid of it, perhaps because they don't know how to express their emotions, as they've never been taught to do so. And I think they struggle with asking for or receiving advice too - especially from a younger - it's all relative! - woman. So I've had to choose my words very carefully, and be silent a lot! The thing about grief is that it is very personal. Though we all express it differently, and in our own time, there are so many similarities to our feelings too, regardless of the type of loss. I've seen that through my own losses, and the many people I worked with when I was volunteering, or have talked to here or off-blog too.
So, as I am not restricted to eight sentences today, I'm going to continue by thinking what advice I would have liked to have received when I was grieving - the loss of my fertility, the loss of our plans for children, the loss of our pregnancies.
- You are not alone, and you are loved.
- It hurts, but it won't always hurt. One day, you'll think of your loss, and you'll feel only love, not pain.
- You will be okay. You will laugh again. Love again. Feel happy again. Please don't feel guilty about that. It does not diminish your loss, but it does help you live.
- Remember to be grateful for what you have had, and what you have now. The saying that "grief comes from love" is so very accurate.
- Grief teaches you love, compassion, self-love, and a sensitivity to others. These are precious gifts.
- Grief brings opportunities, but you have to let yourself grieve first before looking for them.
- You will get through this. Trust in this truth, even when you feel as if you won't, even when you can't see an end.
I realise now that I wrote a similar post a few years ago, Eight Things I Wish I had Known about Grief.