Grief, such a short simple word but of all the words we have in the world, the one that carries, the most pain. Grief covers all types of losses whether it be parent, child, sibling, other relative or dare I say it pet. Grief has no respect for age or race. Grief hurts regardless of who or what you are, and unless you live alone on a desert island you will experience it. Grief knows no boundaries or even cares.

What is grief? Elizabeth Kubler Ross who has studied it in depth defines it as stages. Yes certainly I would agree there are but the stages are very fluid and when one is grieving the stages blur and mix and you still hurt regardless of where you are at. As you move through the grief, you are aware that you are in a different place, but the pain is still ever present

If you think about the loved one you have lost you hurt, if you make a conscious effort not to think about them the absence of their memory in your thoughts hurts too. Grief in the beginning is numb and cold, but then as your feelings thaw so does the pain flood in. I can remember losing my soul mate and being scared to cry because I knew once I started I would never ever stop. But that was a love taken far too soon and the pain of that grief has never gone away and never will. I have learned to live round it, it’s always there but with time it has become more comfortable. The loss will never go but I am finally mostly at peace with the fact that this grief exists.

It’s like living a life with half your heart, because no matter what you do you will never be 100% happy but in time you get used to 50% and because that becomes the norm you still enjoy things but never with the intensity you had before.

The grief of losing a unborn baby is difficult as well. Well-meaning friends seem to think that because this life was never born it is not a being to grieve over, But in the mothers and some most fathers minds it is a real baby.  The grief being the loss of the baby and the dreams and hopes and love they had for that potential child which are overwhelming. Being told they will have another is insulting not comforting. Its like it discounts the being that was loved and wanted but never came to be.

Grief of a parent is different again, there is the acceptance that mostly they have had a long and happy life and we should rejoice in that. My Mum who passed recently at 95 did just that, I knew her passing would happen and I have accepted that. But what I can’t accept is the loss of her presence in my life. I can’t ring her, share news with her, rejoice with her, she is simply not here. There is little grief over her passing but huge grief that she is not here. I miss her so terribly much, I mean I had her all my life so it’s only natural that I will miss her. Grief yes it hits again.

There is for me another grief the loss of a fur baby. No not a dog or a cat a fur baby because for me they were a loved part of my family. To some they may be animals but I believe like us animals have a soul and they love like us and a loss of a fur baby is just as painful as a person. I remember going for an aggregate pass when my Dachshund (please note I did not say dog} died the day of my last university exam and obviously I failed. I had to have some counselling sessions with a specified counsellor to get my pass I remember going in feeling rather stupid because in some people’s eyes it was ‘just a dog” I was fortunate the counsellor understood and indeed substantiated my loss and confirmed that losing a member of your family with fur can hurt just as much.

Grief now is easier for me, partly because I have experienced it more than most it is not such a strange and unknown emotion but more that now I am a Spiritualist I know that while my loved ones are no longer on this plain I know they are waiting for me in the next stage of my life. That brings me comfort as I know I will be with them once again when my time is ready. I still experience grief, but it no longer demoralizes me. It does however still hurt.

Love Shirl