“The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same nor would you want to.” ― Elizabeth Kubler-Ross and David Kessler Perhaps many of those we remember on All Souls’ Day have been gone a long time. The season of fresh grief is past, and we are able now to celebrate their lives as we remember how they impacted our own. But we are always continuing to learn how to live with the hole they left (and some of our losses may be quite new, indeed!). Elizabeth Kubler-Ross describes the “stages” of grief as: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. These, of course, are not a linear progression we go through, one by one, neatly, until we have reached the end (acceptance!) and all is forever well. But they are very descriptive of the ways we experience grief at the loss of a loved one. We may go back and forth among them, spiraling through a new anger or depression—even after much time has gone by. It’s not that we aren’t healing, or haven’t properly let go…it’s that this person was important to us in some way. And each time we experience them absent in some new context, it can all come crashing in again. Consider today the ones you have loved and lost in some way, at some point in time. How have you experienced the various “stages” of grief along the way? Where would you say you are today in that process? Does it ever hit you all over again? How might you honor that loss and that life this All Souls’ Day? Is there some kind of ritual that might embody your experience of whatever stage of grief you find yourself?

Posted by Jamie Bonilla at 2022-11-02 14:05:58 UTC