One of the many myths about grief is that it is always about a death. The definition of grief is the conflicting feelings caused by the end of or change in a familiar pattern of behavior.
With that in mind, I’d like to discuss the loss of health. We rarely consider health important until we have health challenges. Then we are painfully aware that we have lost something very precious and dear to us. This grief is strong no matter what the age or challenge. When I had my parathyroid surgery and started menopause at the same time I felt like I was running 100 miles an hour and ran into a brick wall. However, I think the real issue that we need to face is that this loss will continue to affect us at different times and at different levels. Let me give you an example.
My daughter-in-law has MS. She has dealt with that with dignity and class for years. In finding ways to support herself the family moved to Oregon. This helped the MS subside substantially. This lasted for over two years. Then more lesions came and she had a big change in her health again. When we talked it was clear she needed to grieve this new level of health. She did so and found that after that she was able to set some boundaries up to protect her health. After doing so for many months she started finding new modalities to support her health. I am convinced that only by acknowledging the grief was she then able to move on and find solutions that worked for her.
Grief is like that. It’s not a one-and-done. As I mentioned in my previous blog I revisited my grief about my mom after the birth of my last daughter. In order to have emotional completeness we need to be willing to revisit grief when it comes knocking. Acknowledge the new wound so it can heal. In my experience, it is less and less every time it comes up. As for myself, I’m always grateful I was willing to do the work to be as emotionally complete as possible. I hope this helps you in your journey!