You may have people in your life that show up unexpectedly. Out of nowhere, here they come. They make themselves at home, take up space on your couch, and seem to stay way past their welcome. They demand attention and disrupt your normal schedule. As much as you would like for them to leave, they seem to have made themselves a permanent fixture. After a while, they may remind you they are there, but you learn to work with them. It can be frustrating, but you just make room and accept. It’s at that point they finally leave and come back only to visit. You breathe relief.
This is a picture I have of grief…the unwelcome visitor. Grief comes and makes a space in our lives. We could lock the doors and shut the blinds and pretend we are not home. But eventually, we have to answer the door. At some point, we have to be willing to allow grief to enter so that we can move on…we don’t want to be shut up in our homes forever. And while grief may be unwelcome, it serves a purpose…it actually is necessary. Grief allows us to mourn what has been lost. We work through the death of someone we love…we process the change in our world…we remember the life we had…we experience the good and the not so good when we grieve.
For some, grief stays around for what seems to be a long time. It takes a while to work through the loss. There are days that go well and days that do not. There are times when we can go to that event and times when leaving the house is not an option. There are days when we feel like we are past all of this and days when we wonder if it will ever get better. It is part of the process, the journey. Our guest is with us as we work through it all. And that is okay. For others, grief comes and goes in brief but abrupt visits. But know that grief visits all, there are not exceptions.
For those that have the unexpected guest taking up residence…hear that it does get better. The guest, grief, begins to show up a little less often (although almost always a surprise at every arrival). The sun does eventually shine a little more. Things do improve, if only in glimpses. So be gentle with yourself. Your guest is there to help you through it all. And you are not alone in your journey. Way more people are dealing with grief than you will ever know. We all deal with it in our own way and our own time. So maybe it is time to open the door, welcome the guest in, and begin the journey. There is hope and a new day waiting.