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Grief.

This is the first of a two part discussion that Joy has written, and as you will see it is deeply meaningful to her,

join her as she invites you to come to terms with your own grief.

How bereavement uniquely shapes our grief.

There is ‘no’ comparison to a personal exploration of pain.

Choosing to write about “Grief” feels like stepping into uncharted territory for me. Despite dealing with losses throughout my life, I’ve never quite put pen to paper on this deeply personal subject until now. It’s no secret that grief is one of life’s toughest challenges, shrouded in taboo and stigma that still linger in our society. Each of us will surely face some form of grief along life’s journey, but its manifestations are different for everyone. There’s simply no comparing one person’s grief to another’s

When someone dies, the depth of pain you experience depends on the unique bond, relationship, and life you shared with them. No one’s pain is identical; each person’s experience is deeply personal and varies in intensity.

To truly understand the extent of your grief, you may find yourself comparing one loss to others you’ve experienced. I find reflecting on past deaths and losses can help me grasp the impact each has had on myself and the level of pain it evokes. Whether it’s the sudden loss of a loved one in a tragic accident, the heartache of losing someone to suicide, or the passing of a cherished family member after a long illness, each situation brings its own depth of sorrow.

The pain of losing a child, parent, sibling, or any family member is deeply felt, shaped by the bonds forged over time. For instance, the loss of a parent may resonate more profoundly than the loss of a sibling or a child, but unless you’ve walked that path, it’s impossible to truly comprehend another person’s grief.

There’s a common saying, “when one door closes, another opens,” but what if that next door never appears? What if this loss leaves you standing alone, the last member of your family with no one left to carry on the family legacy? This reality can be especially poignant for those who are adopted, with no bloodline or family tree to trace.

Grief isn’t confined to the physical absence of a loved one: It’s a living, breathing presence that can permeate our lives long after they’ve passed. As a Funeral Director, I’ve witnessed the myriad types and stages of grief that people may encounter. While I’m not a doctor or counsellor, my profession has equipped me with a deep understanding of the grieving process and the profound support and counselling needed by those who are mourning.

On a personal level, I’ve endured my own share of losses—both intimate and familial—that have left me grappling with lifelong grief and a sense of emptiness. Grief doesn’t adhere to a timetable or discriminate based on age or circumstance. For some, it begins long before the physical departure of a loved one, lingering in anticipation of the inevitable. Whether it’s the slow erosion of a loved one’s mind due to illness, the aftermath of a life-altering accident, or the silent grief of a lost unborn child, the impact is profound and life-altering.

Another form of grief often overlooked is the profound sorrow of childlessness. How does one recognize this as akin to bereavement? The simple truth is, you must experience childlessness to truly grasp the depths of the grief it entails. Childlessness isn’t just a one-time loss; it’s a daily ache, a constant yearning for the child that will never be. Couples and singles alike mourn the unborn child, a sorrow that accompanies them throughout their lives. It’s a unique kind of bereavement, navigating each day without experiencing the joys of parenthood, the creation of a human life. To be deprived of motherhood or fatherhood, denied the opportunity to nurture your own family tree, is a perpetual form of loss. It’s the absence of cradling your own child, the absence of watching them grow and flourish. This is the silent grief of the childless, a sorrow that shapes every aspect of their lives.

In the wake of grief, we find ourselves thrust into a world forever changed, where familiar landmarks seem unfamiliar, and the future feels uncertain. Yet, amidst the pain, there exists a glimmer of hope—a belief that from the ashes of grief, a new chapter of life can emerge. It’s often said that grief unfolds in five stages: denial, anger, guilt, depression, and acceptance. But the journey through grief is far from linear—it’s a winding path marked by twists and turns, setbacks and breakthroughs.

As I embark on this exploration of grief, I invite you to join me on a deeply personal journey—one marked by vulnerability, introspection, and ultimately, resilience. Together, let’s delve into the depths of grief and emerge with a deeper understanding of what it means to mourn, to heal, and to embrace life in all its complexity.

Written by

Joy Ellen Pedder

 

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