A word from Ben: For 18 years, my family watched my grandfather slowly pass away. We suffered while he struggled with dementia and Parkinson’s disease. In the midst of difficulties, I saw my family support and love my grandfather.
We will all encounter grief — you likely already have. Either way, know you are not alone. My mother mourned the loss of my grandfather, and she writes about the grieving process below.
By Amy Higgins
My father passed away recently. For 18 years, we watched Parkinson’s disease rob a brave, uncomplaining man of his body, mind, and quality of life. My mother grieved his loss years before his actual passing. The loneliness and frustration of feeling like a widow — only seeing glimpses of your husband for years before his death — tormented her. So we celebrated his passing in many ways.
But I still question the feelings I experience. I’m relieved and rejoicing in my loss. I don’t feel sad, necessarily. Is this wrong? Have I grieved? Is death the only destructive intruder worthy of grief in one’s life? Here is my opinion:
Grief is like a fingerprint. Everyone does it, feels it, and learns through it differently.
Some people cope with religion, some with chemicals; coping outlets can be endless. When embraced, grief can teach you to love others more deeply and not take ordinary moments for granted. Grief involves any situation that broke your heart, your spirit, or your relationship with others. We all most certainly have grieved!
Someone once said grief is like a storm that uproots all things familiar, but after the torrential storms of grief hit, life becomes crystal clear and gives a fresh, brand new perspective on God, life and everything else for that matter.
Grief involves any situation that broke your heart — not just death. It’s one of the most powerful teachers. You may lose sight of a dream. You may lose a treasured relationship. When a door closes, just remember an unexpected window may open and offer a perspective you may have missed.
I could write books on what I learned from the challenges, unexpected joys, and personal growth associated with watching my father pass away. Loss is painful, but it is one of the best opportunities you have to be transparent and authentic with your family, friends, and coworkers.
Be patient as you work through your grief. It will condition you for the marathon we call life.
Each chapter in our lives builds upon the one before it, filling us with wisdom. Remember, loss brings many opportunities to share stories with others — people who may understand your pain or find great hope in your witness.
Grief is a purifying experience. Diamonds only become beautiful through great heat, pressure, and transformation.
How have you experienced deep loss?