Grief Definition is typically as follows…”keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or loss; sharp sorrow, painful regret.” There are also what is known as 7 stages of grief and 5 stages of grief. In my grieving process, I never felt any one thing in any order, nor was I deprived of love and even joy when interacting with friends and family. I also never felt ‘it was time to get over it.’ after a certain amount of time had past. The truth is that there are no rules and no one definition of grief that applies to everyone. Well meaning people will make comments based on their experience of grief, or what they have read about grief. I learned to listen, nod and smile with appreciation for their intention to be helpful and reach out. It is important to embrace your own experience whatever it may be and know that it is normal for you.
Now that it has been almost nine years since my husband and 13 year old daughter have been killed in a terrorist attack in Mumbai, India, I have come to greater levels of acceptance of a reality that has brought a range of emotions that are painful, but also full of love and gratitude for the life I shared with them and the new life unfolding within and around me each day. More and more I notice that gratitude fills my heart – gratitude for life itself, gratitude that I am alive, gratitude for the memories, gratitude for the love that will never die, gratitude for their presence which remains in my heart. In some ways I feel closer to them now than ever before.
I would say that the definition of grief is whatever it is for you. And despite the loss, the wishing it weren’t so, there is treasure to be found by opening fully to the experience, however it may unfold.