Learning to Embrace Grief

Those who haven’t experienced the depth of grief tend to look upon the pain of a broken person with this idea that this pain and these feelings are temporary, and that eventually this loss will become a past event that we will move on from. It would be nice if loss and grief could be wrapped up in such a neat little package, to put away and be taken out only when the need to revisit it arises. It would be nice if grief happened in those five foreseeable stages, one at a time. It would be nice if the pain of grief ended.

But then again, no it wouldn’t.

Grief is complex, it’s difficult, it’s painful, it doesn’t make sense. It changes you and everything around you. When you lose the one you have spent your life with, you lose the life that you once had and the person you once were. And what you are left with is cold and unfamiliar. You feel the stabbing of loss with every breath you take. Even breathing feels different now. The world can go from something so normal and uneventful and happy… to gone. Just like that. And suddenly what you are left with is not your life… And yet it is all you’ve got. It is easy to look into your own pain and want to stop feeling it – until you realize that this is love. Grief is a path, not a place. Grief exists because love exists. Without love, this wouldn’t hurt. Without love, this would be easy. I wouldn’t trade a single day with my husband to avoid this pain. Not one. When I lost my husband it was sudden, I never saw it coming. I sent him out to pick up pizza, not knowing that it would be the last time I would ever kiss him goodbye. I am grateful that the last words I ever heard from him, and the last words I ever spoke to him, were “I love you.” That love is the reason all of this hurts so much, it is the reason that my world collapsed and my heart shattered. And it is the reason I will be OK.

Healing is not about getting over it, moving on, or leaving our loved ones behind. Healing is about finding peace with what has happened, what you have lost, and what you are left with. You will never get over the ones you love, I will never get over my husband. I will never stop loving him and I will never stop being his wife. But this doesn’t mean my life will stop or that it will revolve around my husband or this loss forever. This doesn’t mean I will not live a full life, maybe even love again. I am 30 years old, my daughter is two. I intend to live, I intend to love. One day. For now, I am still learning to live this new life. He will never be left behind because he is a part of who I am now. I will never stop thinking about him. I will never stop loving him. I am his and he is mine, always and forever. But things are different now. So I carry him in my broken heart, it is healing to keep him there. A part of me went with him when he died, but a part of him stayed with me and it fills the broken pieces of my heart with light and hope and love.

Your grief will last as long as your love. You will not stop grieving simply because some period of time has passed. You will grieve forever. But you will not hurt like this forever. You will not stay broken and shattered. Life will not always be this overwhelming. And it is ok that it hurts this bad now. It is ok to feel so broken and overwhelmed. This is what happens when your life catches fire and burns to the ground right in front of you. It hurts and it is overwhelming. But you will slowly rebuild. It won’t look like it used to look because that old life burned down. He died. She died. It is not OK but it is what happened. And as you rebuild your life you will realize that they are still a part of you, and always will be. You will learn to be happy again. And the one you love will never really be gone.


Published by

Becky Nolan

I a widowed mom to my young daughter. I lost my husband suddenly at the age of 29, leaving me with a one year old child to raise on my own. I live in Connecticut, where I met, married, and lost the man that I am still proud to call my husband. Every day I struggle. Every day I learn. Every day I am grateful for the time I had with him, and for the little girl he gave me before he left. I have found comfort and healing in writing. I have found purpose in sharing my story, knowing that so many others have been through it, too. Knowing that everyone has experienced loss and struggle. Words can be healing when they come from that deeply honest place within the soul. Grief is too lonely a road to walk alone, so I aim to give comfort and company on that lonely road.

9 thoughts on “Learning to Embrace Grief”

  1. This is beautifully said Becky. My heart aches for you, but your writing opens a window to help me understand a tiny bit of your new world and how you deal with it. I love you more than you know. Mom

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Becky,
    You are right on all of it. You will not ever stop loving him. You will learn to go on without him.
    And on special days for the rest of your life you will remember the love you have had. Your wonderful. Nicely written.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I loved reading this,I lost my Husband to but we were married almost 50 years,and everything you write about is so true. God Bless you and I hope you find love again and I know you will never forget your Husband.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Becky, this hit the nail on the head… I wish everyone that is in our lives could read this to begin to understand what our hearts are going through. I truly appreciate the time you took to express what many of us are feeling but you so eloquently describe. God bless you always. …Pam

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I just lost my husband 48 days ago, it was sudden didnt expect it.you are the 1st person who truly understands how I feel. We were married 37 years .what you said is how I feel. Thank you,your words touch not just my heartb but my soul.our children and grandchildren do their best but nothing is Right without my husband. But your words really do say how I feel. Thank you God bless you and know I know.😣

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s