I recently received an email from someone who had read my blog, asking for advice on navigating their way through grief. I suggested some key things that I've written about before, and there were plenty of other things I could have said, which are mostly all written about here on my blog, but I may have forgotten to say what is perhaps (in retrospect) most important.
Unfortunately, navigating our way through grief, even when we've done it before, is never easy. There is never a Get Out of Jail Free card from grief, even if we know the process from previous experience, even if someone who has done it shows us the way, and so we still have to go through all the emotions, feel all the pain, before we can know that we will get through it and come out the other side.
Some of the best advice I was given at the outset was to "roll with the emotions." Initially, it's all we can do, and I think it helps to feel what we feel, and to give those feelings legitimacy, and to honour our pain, and what we have lost. It hurts, we're buffeted about and never know if we're going to drown or survive, and we hate it at the time, but what is really important, and what we don't recognise at the time, is that it is the start of healing. It is where we farewell our old hopes, and clear space to allow new hopes, new dreams, a new life to emerge.