How soon is too soon when it comes to moving on after a loss? Is there a designated time frame for grief? what is considered “moving on too soon?” How long is the grieving period and who determines it? Do you ever stop grieving?
So it’s been a little over a month since God called my older sister but I couldn’t make it home (home is in Cameroon – Central Africa) for the burial because of a few reasons, some which I could have controlled and others not so much. I tried to be a part of the event as much as I could and my parents did their best etching the ceremony with every detail for me to grasps.
Everyone who attended agreed as I had mentioned in my tribute post for her that she was indeed an angel. The sign for them was the fact that, rain which had been pouring nonstop for a month ceased for three days straight, allowing for a smooth flow of affairs including her return into the soil from which she was made.
A part of me refused to accept her death when I just found out, which is the reason why some of my friends still don’t know I lost my sister. After talking with my parents at length, reminiscing on her beautiful existence albeit troubled, we all agreed that she was finally resting. She had suffered enough and God had decided it was time she rested from the struggle. With that new understanding, we acceded to see it as a celebration of her life instead of a life lost.
Acknowledging this did not negate her absence from us, neither did it mean we didn’t grieve her because the fact remains that she is no longer here with us. So in the days since her passing, I have had to pause in the midst of “happenings” to remind myself that I am grieving.Sometimes I fear that people will think I moved on too quickly or that I don’t look like someone who lost a loved one barely 5 weeks ago.
I had planned a mini-vacation with my best friend before the tragedy struck two weeks prior. We ended up going for the trip anyways at the scheduled time but I couldn’t stop feeling guilty while we were away. My aunt and uncle looked at me askew when I mentioned the trip but I made nothing of it until now. I have been trying to get back to the blog too and have had few topics to write on but It never felt right for me to just come here and continue writing on random topics without addressing the issue.
It seems I put these pressures on myself right? But they are not unfounded given the society we live in now. Too often, people are quick to pass judgements on how people should live their lives including how one should grieve but do not realize that people grieve differently. While some do better constantly reflecting and withdrawing from society after such a loss, others immerse themselves in and get lost in it. It is all about a finding the coping mechanism that works best for you and that something worked for you, doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for someone else.
Until you wear the shoes, you will never know exactly where it pinches most. So before you ask me to come down from my horse as no one has made me the spokesperson for the aggrieved, you should know I was one of the outsiders who criticized people about either their method of grieving or “moving on” too quickly.
Two truths prevail here which are; life continues whether we accept it or not and secondly; in my view, we never really stop grieving. The best way to honor my sister I have found, is to live a better life that she would be proud of and that means carrying on with life. Also, I don’t think I will ever stop missing her because she was a huge part of my life. I will just learn to deal with the void better. Whereas crying was instantaneous when I thought of her; now, pangs of pain, of longing, of sadness rip me inside and it is at such times I have to remind myself that she is resting with God, with her maker and creator.
When next you see a picture of that woman/man on social media smiling or simply living their life after a loss, do not be quick to judge because that might just be their way of dealing with the loss. There is no set period for grieving and there is definitely nothing as moving on too quickly. We never stop grieving either, we get use to it but the void remains.
To all those grieving the loss of a dear loved one, may God console you and yours in only the way that He can and may you find understanding, solace and comfort in His arms, believing that your dearly departed has returned to the Creator. Be blessed.