Vulnerability Day 24
#30daysofvulnerability2017 #cancercaregiver #badwidow #day24
I have been thinking about having the ‘right’ to grieve. And how, as a culture, we get so focused on moving on that we don’t pause for long enough to grieve our losses.
A friend who is going through a painful divorce was telling me about how hard it is and apologized because her loss was not as bad as mine. Like me, she lost someone she loved. Like me, she lost a life she had longed for, claimed and lost. My grief is very real. So is hers.
I have been bereaved and grieving for over five months now. I hear from my bereaved friends that I probably have a year before people start getting dismissive of how long this process takes. How much time do we give people who have had an unrequited love, a breakup or a divorce to grieve their loss before becoming impatient?
My nephews and nieces play sports. They throw all of themselves into doing their best and winning for themselves and their team. When they lose a match, a meet or a game, they are disappointed, even heartbroken. And they are taught to shake hands and shake it off.
In my last job, I expected a promotion. I had lots of public verbal and written thank yous from team and clients, and bonuses. There was a management change and my new manager had no appreciation for all I had accomplished. I got a demotion instead and was bitterly disappointed. I grieved but it was ‘just’ business so my feelings were not acceptable or honored. I have failed and made mistakes in my life. Get over it. Move on. Pivot.
My husband’s passing, after our twenty-five years together, gives me license to grieve for a while. But loss and grief are real in all these other situations too. I am stunned at 1) how little training we have in handling our losses and 2) at how we attempt to dictate how much time we require to grieve, depending on what kind of loss we have suffered.