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How Long Is Long Enough?

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I have been reading "Grieving The Loss of Someone You Love" and I came upon a paragraph in one of the chapters.

"Most of us feel that we can handle almost anything if we just know how long it will take. There is something comforting about knowing where to find the end. It is only natural that we should want to know how long we must grieve if we expect to do a "good job." Unfortunately, there is no ideal answer to the question, "How long is long enough?" And, whether you believe it or not, it really is a good thing that we have no answer. There is a hazard in having a reference point. We tend to turn a reference point into a finish line if we are not careful."

I, myself struggle with this. I like to have reference points when dealing with situations; I understand that it doesn't work that way with grief. I have to keep reminding myself that other people's ideas of what I should be feeling and experiencing should be disregarded. Like the friend who thinks I should allow myself to be open to someday having someone in my life...or the friend who thinks she hears my old self. I know there are parts of me that are and will always be who I am...my soul core hasn't changed. My beliefs and the things that make me Maryann are still there. But my life moving forward will be changed forever. That is something that I have to come to terms with, and through this journey I will.

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Maryann, I hope you tell your "friend" (who thinks you should be open to having someone in your life) that she is inappropriate for bringing it up. You are grieving! Do people really think they can cheer us up with such suggestions? It's like a dismissal of what we're feeling! It's invalidating to what we're going through! Very very inappropriate!

And your old self is gone. There is very little the same about us any more. We are our past, present, and future, we are all of us, but the person we presented ourselves as "before" is no longer. We are no longer part of a couple, we no longer have the same purpose in life, we no longer have anyone to share in life with. Even something as small as a meal is taken in alone now. We have no one to bounce things off of, no one to snuggle with or make plans with. No one whose eyes light up when we enter the room. How can that not change us? We are forever changed by what we've been through. In some ways we are deeper, more compassionate, have more facets, so some of the shaping and molding us has been good but our lives are not as good because we're alone so blasted much! For me it seems such a long time ago since George was here sharing in all of life with me. It's hard to remember the carefree happy person I was before.

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Somehow this just seems to belong on this thread.


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