I remember late last year, after morning church, when I spoke with a beautiful lady whose husband died a couple of years ago. I have been a family friend of theirs for several years and had the honour of officiating the memorial service.
From someone looking in at Mary’s journey over the past couple of years, I would say that all in all she is in a very healthy place. She has adjusted incredibly well and is participating in life with purpose. But that morning as I greeted Mary, she said with such depth of conviction; “Steve, I miss him so much.”
We spoke of how great a husband and father he was, of the impact he had made throughout Australia, other nations and the world. We spoke of a brilliant man who left a very impressive legacy…. But that’s just it – it is a legacy.
It wouldn’t have mattered if we had have celebrated his life and achievements for another hour or two, none of it could take away the loss and emptiness Mary feels every day.
I encouraged Mary to own her feelings and that missing her life-long partner is natural, expected and healthy. More than that, that such feelings may never change… and that’s ok!
Think of someone you knew that has experienced loss in some way – you would be concerned if they didn’t speak of their love for that person, wouldn’t you?
Remembering And Feeling In All Its Fullness Is Normal – No Matter How Long The Loved One Has Been Gone.
I have noted of late on Facebook many of my connections writing tributes to a deceased mother, father etc and so many will write something along the lines of:
“It Has Been 25 Years Today Since My Dad Died…. And Not A Day Goes By That I Don’t Miss Him”.
Author Kindah Greening writes: “It is important to note when comforting a grieving person that although focusing on future promises can be of some assistance, we need to remember the grief is a present now. The pain of loss is with us today. Too much future projection can be insensitive to the grieving person and can be interpreted as failing to acknowledge the present needs.”
Greening’s statement “grief is a present now” is a very powerful truth for all of us to remember. The grief someone is experiencing is their own. It is their reality – not ours to make comment on. Allow too yourself some grace to simply be and experience the reality of your now, no matter how long it has been; a day, a month or years.
I wonder if you have experienced a well-intentioned person who really denied your ‘present now’ perhaps by expecting you to have moved on?
If you feel up to it, then please let us know your story in the comments section below.
By Steve Morrison
 Kindah Greening. (1997). Grief the toothache of the soul (1st ed.). Underwood, Queensland: Kingswood press. pg. 91