Can you grow around grief? There is a graphic that is commonly used when talking about grief. It is a picture of three jars all the same size. Each jar has a black ball inside of it representing grief. In the first picture the ball fills the majority of the jar. In the next picture the black ball of grief shrinks. Yet again in another picture the ball of grief shrinks smaller.
This illustration suggests that many of us believe that grief shrinks over time. As time passes, grief gets smaller. As a result leaving more space around the grief.
Happiness is Not the Only Option
There is this mindset when it comes to grief or pain of any kind. This mindset suggests that healing is the only option. That happiness and feeling good is the only healthy option. It even suggests that if you are unhappy or grieving for an extended period of time that something is wrong with you. They tell you time heals and grief goes away over time.
Those of us who have experienced loss and grief know healing is not always a fluid process. And maybe, just maybe grief never gets smaller but we grow around the grief.
Three more jars of grief
In addition, the aforementioned graphic has three more jars with balls of grief inside of them. In these jars the grief stays the same but the jars that house the grief grow bigger. This is a representation of the concept that grief doesn’t go away or shrink. This illustration shows what may be a more accurate picture of grief. It suggests that we grow around grief. In our growth we create the space around the grief to allow for other areas of hope in life.
Making Space for Hope
Making space for hope is so critical in long term health and wholeness.
Everyone seems to be on this life long quest to find happiness. Experiencing grief and loss can throw a huge wrench in the mindset that being happy equals success. The truth is that we aren’t made to only experience happiness. Grief and sadness are just as much a part of being a human as joy and happiness. We cannot know one without the other.
To have such despair in our grief is a testament to the love and good times we have had with someone. Finding happiness is not as important as finding hope. Hope that you can continue to grow around grief.
Grow around Grief
Sadness and grief can feel like a diagnosis that must be eliminated before moving on. An endless quest for happiness.
Even when we are reluctant to. A day without despair, a day with a new smile is not your loss becoming less important or your grief getting smaller. It is simply the manifestation of hard work and tearful nights. Every day you continued on, you created growth around your grief.
Growth can happen simply by getting out of bed in the morning. The more you get up and show up the more opportunities there are to grow the space around your grief. Grief may remain the same but hope can fill the space around it.
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