Grief comes in many forms, and they all require us to heal if we are to become 'whole' again.
I've lost loved ones, through death and break up. But the first time that i was crushed by my grief was in my early 30s, when a dearly beloved friend was murdered the day after Christmas. I had visited her and her children to deliver Christmas presents on Christmas Eve afternoon.
My grief began on December 27 at my favourite breakfast place as I read about a woman being murdered. But it was only after i checked with Victoria police that i was emotionally shattered by Gwen's murder. I couldn't stop crying the rest of that day, and probably into the next. I really can't remember . Even though remembering still brings me to the edge of tears 35+years later, it is the memory of that shocking morning and the aftermath which still make me emote. I learned how to heal with the help of a grief councillor, something i knew i had to do for the sake of my health and peace of mind. I know Gwen would have wanted that for me.
If I use this model, Stage 7 acceptance, critical to moving on, only began when i went to court to see the man who had stolen my friend from me and a mother from her children. On that day, and watching the animal in court, i was able to let go my hate for him, so my healing could begin. I'll never forget her, or how we loved each other, and never want to.
Whether you lose a loved one to disease or you suffer the pains of divorce, grief hurts with the same intensity. In fact, stages of grief closely mirror each other from one heartache to the next. That’s why these stages of grief will help you understand how to get through the pain which always accompanies emotional losses, whether we admit it or not.
But knowing is only part of your mission; then you have to manage the stages until you come out the other end of the tunnel that grief often feels like.
I find grief comes in waves especially when a special occasion is around the corner. Even as a strong person I am unable to control it so I let it come and go and do what it asked of me. Cry..be sad .stay home and it then leaves. I say just go with flow but make sure you don't stay in it.
Grief is a monstrous thing. It can eat you alive. All one can do is put up a fight. What is, is. We must battle on. There might never be an answer to the questions we seek solutions to. Do what you can to survive. Let each day pass and to some small extent be the precursor for the next?
Sorry about your loss but your " . . to become 'whole' again". . . I'm not convinced this is a possible outcome.
I was told in traditional Lakota (Native American) concept of life,
Life is a circle. When you are born your life begins and you begin your journey along the circle - as time passes you advance and approach the starting point of the circle (your life ends) However, when something terrible happens, there is a gap introduced into the circle. You must continue your path, but your circle will have a hole. We just learn to move forward the best possible way. "to become" Fully functional I would say yes, but loss, and how we deal with it defines who we are.
It is important to understand that these stages are not ironclad linear stages that everyone experiences the same. Thanatologists in fact describe grief more like a spiral than a linear process. You think you've gotten to acceptance and then something triggers you and you regress 2 or 3 "stages". It's because your subconscious is spoon-feeding your "new reality" to you in increments that you can handle.
For this reason it's very important to be patient with yourself (and for other people to be patient with you).
But also accepting the fact that we are forever changed by these events. We "come through the tunnel" but are reshaped by it. It's up to us to use that for continual understanding and growth, and help others. Thank you for your post and very sorry for your loss. We have all been through much loss and there is a gaping hole some of it leaves behind.