How do we grieve?

As I mentioned in one of my last posts that my mother died last year October – 7th October to be exact. I am not going to tell you what an amazing person she was or how I miss her. This is a reflection on “How do we grieve?”  

We are all different and come from different cultures from all over the world. In a conversation recently I mentioned that I can hardly believe that a year has gone by already. I don’t want this year to be up because it somehow asks something of me to mark my mother’s passing. Does this confront me in a way that feels uncomfortable? I think it does. What do you do when a year is up?I was asked by someone what I would like to do on the day. It sounds weird what do you do?

The conversation continued: Does it take a year to complete one’s grieving? No. It takes as long as it takes. It could be 7 years or it could be forever. One year is just part of the process. Life is a process. And grief is part of life. It is an ongoing healing process of gathering up the broken pieces, odd shaped ones and perfect pieces and assimilating them; ultimately making something beautiful through it all. You will always carry your loved one in your heart and in your life wherever you go.

One year is not enough time to grieve a loved one. After a year it could be fitting to honour all the parts: the cracks, the beauty, the joy and the pain. You could light a candle on the anniversary of their death as a remembering of the good, the bad and the messy; and a remembering of the days journeying unto death. With the death there could have been relief and/or regrets; there is pain in remembering at first but there is also potential for joy as you begin to remember who they were; and consider how their lives have shaped yours. Or maybe there is no joy in remembering their life. It is just enough to be honest with yourself. You could write a poem or journal or a letter or make a piece of art. Do whatever moves you. Don’t just do what others expect of you; make it meaningful. Allow your process to be authentically yours; don’t be dictated to or think you must follow someone else’s process. You could always pay homage with a toast or a meal; on your own or with others. But know that it is an ongoing process of the yearnings; melancholy, love and grace.

Be present to the process instead of fabricating what others think is a good idea. Be present to the process and wherever it leads you, wherever it moves you. Understand that it flows this way and that way; backwards and forwards; and you even get stuck at times. You can call these stages or phases but the names don’t matter; what matters is that you keep going back to the process and going where it leads. In the center of this process is healing; is new life. So own the process and make it personal. It is complex and complicated just as the relationship itself is complex. Hold all in your spirit, mind and soul with great compassion.  Have compassion for yourself and for others.

I am interested to know from my readers (if you would be happy to share) how you and your culture grieves; or do you prefer a personal approach?

I want to wish you all hope, strength and love – especially those of you who are carrying grief or going through a the difficult end of life time personally or with someone else.

Take care till next time.

12 thoughts on “How do we grieve?

  1. Pingback: 1 year passing Margareet Armstrong – xYOOPx

  2. Thanks for sharing Morag. I’m so sorry about your mother.
    I’ve not experience any grieve myself but a friend of mine is going through a lot to keep up with the demise of her mother. When ever I see her in the mood of grieving, I could literally feel her pains.

    Thanks for sharing this. It’s a good read.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I a so sorry for your loss ((hugs)).
    I lost my grandmother 9 years ago now. A bonus mother to me as I spent my formative years with her. I went to live with my mother as a young adult, otherwise grandma was my influence.
    I have a picture of her homegoing program in my bathroom on my vase. It is the first thing I see every day. I think of her and ALL that she has been to me, all that she taught and I miss her oh so much. Each time I visit South America, I go by her grave and I weep anew as if it was yesterday.
    My mom and her sisters are there with me and I am the only one who weeps this way.
    I feel the grieving will never go, I will remember … always. Some days I am sad for the things she has since missed and more days I am ok with remembering who she was.
    The void will never be filled…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow! I am so sorry to hear 🤗🤗she was your everything and your every influence when you most needed it and she is now embedded in your memory and your heart. No one can fill the void someone has left because each person is unique.

      Sometimes what can help is talking to an understanding person and I found doing art and writing poems helped (especially for the loss of my father who I lost at a young age but he was my everything) maybe one day I will do a blog post about how I worked through the loss of him…. even although I lost him 51 years ago I still miss him and wish I could have him back but that pain has lessened over the years. Sending love and peace your way. 🤗💐❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Morag, you expressed so well how we are to grieve: as we are led to by our own hearts. I lost my father 17 years ago after he suffered Dementia. I saw him going down mentally and it saddened me so much when he died at 87 because we moved further away and I didn’t get to see him as often. My mother died 6 months after my husband. She had Alzheimers and died at 86. My husband died in 2009 at 58. I think my grieving turned into celebration for their releases from horrible changes in their personalities or mental abilities. I lost them all a little at a time. I knew they were going to be with God and their ancestors. Now I remember the fond memories with my parents growing up and the traveling and fun we had as kids in a loving family. With my husband, he changed too but his changes made him more often abusive. So actually it was a relief knowing he was not well and my life could heal after his death. Ten years later I grieved for the good loving husband he was when I married him. Death can be different things to different people. I still think often of my parents with great love.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for sharing your experiences with grief and loss. It is hard watching a loved one go through suffering before they die (mental or physical) and once they go on it does feel like a relief for they don’t suffer anymore. And it’s the cherry on the top when we have confidence about their spiritual future too. 🤗🤗🍒💐

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  5. Pingback: My first anniversary candle | Morag Noffke

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