This year I've had my fair share of loss. I've lost three precious souls that were all close to me (all relatives too). Although it has been what you could call a rough patch, I'm am very pleased and feel blessed to know that they are all in heaven. All three were at peace with God. This makes me smile.
Grief is different for everybody. No one looks the same and no one grieves the same. You can grieve an object, an asset, a dream or possibility, a relationship, animals and people.
The initial loss can be shocking no matter how the loss came about (suddenly or over time). It is the moment we first hear of the loss that will change our world.
The next phase of grief as I see it is the memories and reflection. When we lose someone this includes a service or ceremony. Our grief here is raw and new. We know we will never see them again and that knowledge hurts. But we have not yet experienced a great deal of life without them, so it does not yet feel real.
The third phase is the 'real' part. The part where you keep on living. Life goes back to normal except for that gap. Little things happen and you think I must tell... then you remember. Or you expect to see them as you walk into a room. You miss their smile. A special date passes by. And every time one of these little things happen, you remember, and your heart aches. It aches, there is a sense of loss, a gap. Now it is real. Now you really know that you will never see them again.
I'm in the third stage at the moment and it sucks! But I know from experience that there is another part not a phase (like the others) because I don't think this one ever changes or moves on. It is the period of time when it doesn't hurt anymore. The little things happen but instead of it hurting you just remember. The gap is not as big or there at all. You have moved on. You are living life. You have survived your grief.
To stop grieving does not mean to stop loving or to stop remembering. It simply is to stop mourning, to stop hurting. It is to live without a feeling of loss.
The whole thing takes time and again it's different for everyone. But you don't want to grieve for too long. Life is out there. There are other people in your world. Don't become a victim to overwhelming sorrow. Be happy again. God has new things in store for you. Go enjoy life.
Psst... Although this is written like its for others/you. I'm preaching to the choir and I need to take a leaf out of my own book!