Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Aren't You Over It Yet?

I am Catholic but I often find strength and wisdom in the teachings of other religions.  We're all here in the same boat and we're all here to get along, so why not reach out and see what we can learn from each other?

With that thought in mind, I am sharing a short insightful piece that a friend gave to me.   It is written by a rabbi and I found his thoughts to be very comforting.  I hope you do too:

Getting Over It
By Rabbi Earl A. Grollman

My wife died fourteen months ago.  Even though I don't feel as bad as when she first died, I'm still in terrible pain.  My friends ask me, "Don't you think it's time you're over it?"  How do I know when I've finished grieving?
Grief is not a weakness or an illness, even though some may treat you as though you were sick.  "Getting over" the death of a loved one is not like "getting over" a cold, a broken bone or an allergy.  There is no time limit, quick fix, or an easy cure.  Grief is a continuing, slow, consuming process -- a physical, spiritual, and emotional response to agonizing separation.
Even with the passage of time, sadness does not completely disappear.  There will be moments when you feel like your old self, as well as low periods, especially during holidays and anniversaries.
Here are some encouraging signs that you are effectively dealing with grief:
--Your body doesn't hurt so much.  You feel a little less discomfort and a little more peace.  Memories are recalled with more pleasure than pain.
--You care how you dress and look.  You enjoy some old interests, activities and hobbies.  You cope more effectively with other problems in your life.
--You are able to envision and plan future events with a degree of exciting anticipation.
--You think more of possibility rather than impossibility.
--You invite family and friends to be with you.  You reach out to others.  You commemorate holidays without feeling guilty for enjoying the day.
--You delight in keeping the room temperature at 65 degrees when your loved one always wanted it to be at 74 degrees.
--You accept your grief, your fears, your aloneness and say, "I miss her/him so much but I have to go on living."
"Getting over" the death of someone you care deeply about doesn't mean that you will be the same person you were before the loss.  It doesn't mean that you've forgotten the person who died.
You don't get over it.  You just continue to go through it.  A widower who understands this message said eloquently: "I am less because she is no more.  But I am more because she was part of my life."

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