Grief and Joy

How many of you have ever lost someone? Had an unmet desire or longing? Experienced a heartbreak? Struggled with a medical diagnosis or injury? The reality is that grief is a central part of our daily lives.

Our first understanding of grief can be small. We can believe that grief occurs when we’ve lost someone or had a major traumatic experience. The longer we live, the more we can see just how frequently grief pops up in our daily lives. Grief is a byproduct of dying and death, but also a part of the jolts in life and living.

Grief occurs when a person is coping with a loss of some kind. This could be the loss of a family member or friend, a sport-ending injury, relocation, a job transition, heart break, acceptance of a medical or mental illness, failure to make a sports team — the list goes on.

There is no set pattern, not for everyone and not even within each person. Each grief is unique, as each love is unique. There isn’t a formula capable of containing all the experiences of love and pain.

There is no timetable on how long someone should grieve. Research shows that for most people, the acute phase of grief lasts about six months to a year; but for some, it takes longer.

Ultimately, our “homeostasis” is ruptured and that cannot go without being felt. Grief, pain and heartache are unwelcome feelings by most, if not all of us. However, they are very healthy and needed. Missing something is a hard thing, but a beautiful thing. The pace at which we grieve and how we grieve what we miss is as unique as we are. No two people will grieve the same and should not be expected to either.

CS Lewis wrote,” The pain now is part of the joy then.” The hurt is a sign of the love. The hurt is a sign of the happiness and joy we had. When we don’t allow ourselves to feel pain, we also stifle the experience of joy.

So, grieving well means having resilience for feeling the pain, but also knowing that you are okay, that you will make it through, and, as a result, that you will experience both immense pain and immense joy.

Written by: GROW Staff