Can Grief Change You?

March 30, 2021

Yes.  Grief will change you forever.  I would like to type out in this blog, “No, your grief will not change you,” but that would be a lie.

Your grief will change the trajectory of your life forever.  You will never be the same person again.  Hear me loud and clear when I tell you that this is not always bad.  However, you will never go back to who you were before the grieving experience.

I will forever miss my best friend.  I think about her often and want to talk to her.  I long to get some good advice from her.  Understand I do not feel like I have lost myself, but a piece of me died with her.

I know that a lot of you will read this and think, “Yes, see, you never get over a loss.”  Well, only a part of that statement is true.  I will never stop missing her—that is true.  And yes, I grieved my broken heart.   I went through it.  But my relationship with her is complete and she will always be in my heart.

Does that sound corny?  I think the thing that surprises us most is the number of changes that we undergo when we experience a loss:  The changes we experience in our hopes and dreams for the future; the changes we experience in the here and now. These changes include:

  • Loss of sleep
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Changes in drug and alcohol use
  • Forgetfulness, a zombie-like state
  • Isolation—feeling as though no one understands
  • Changes in our other relationships
  • Changes in our spiritual beliefs
  • Experiencing anxiety and being unsure what to do about it

This enumerates some of the immediate changes we experience.  Not everyone will have the same experiences.

Here’s where it gets tricky.  As stated before, no one should expect to go back to whom they were before their loved one died.  This grief shapes and molds us like few other things in life can.  However, those fundamental parts of who we are, the focus we once had, the organization, the patience … those things tend to come back once we have done the much-needed work on our heart.  Once go after the pain.

Healing your broken heart means that on some days, you will still miss them.  You may even cry.  But you can look at their photo without falling apart.  The hope is to see things such as focus again, and for the ability to remember important dates and where you parked the car, to return.

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