allow grief to move at its own pace

Many of you know that I consider myself a spiritual person. I believe in things beyond our realm and much of it has helped me when it comes to grieving and imagining an afterlife/reincarnation/souls continuing on of sorts. Not everyone believes this, though, and it takes people time to come to terms with the way they grieve, the way they want to view life and how they think of their departed.

I was endlessly scrolling through the social inter-webs, as one does, and I came across a video where a young woman was talking about how her boyfriend has passed away. You could see her pain as clear as day on her face, and you could tell that she was no where near ready to talk about it as it was relatively fresh. I can only assume that she felt compelled to talk about it because she had grown a following around her and her boyfriend’s relationship, and people kept asking what had happened to him. She said in the video that it hurts and all she wants is to have him back. Someone commented and said ‘open your third eye, he’s still with you.’

There are not enough words to explain it if you haven’t personally experienced it, and in itself no two people experience grief in the same way. So even if this person who commented had experienced something eerily similar, and got through it with believing that their soul was still with them, it takes away from the physical pain that is losing a human being you loved. You can no longer speak to them, hug them or feel their physical presence. You can feel remnants of them, as if they are present somehow, and you can remember your favourite parts of them and even relive things through photographs and videos, even smells and touching their old clothes, whatever you may have to prove that they really lived. Even doing that is walking an incredibly thin line, because you can lose yourself in the past and waste away your own life.

As much as I like to believe that the ones who have left us are with us in some ways, it’s more of a knowing that they live on within us. And that is fundamentally different to them being here, right in front of you, living life alongside of you. Their life has stopped. They are permanently at the age they were the moment their soul left their body, within this lifetime they are frozen at that time. They are memories, and while they are loved memories at that, they are no longer any more than that. They had a life, but that physical being that is the human experience has stopped for them. You can no longer create anything else with them.

So while your heart may be in the right place when you are trying to comfort someone who is grieving, telling someone to ‘open their third eye’ is just simply unhelpful and can feel a little contrived. Pushing your beliefs on someone who is in the fresh throes of grief is not it, friends. Allow people to move at their own pace.



If I could describe how I feel in a metaphor, it would be that I’m gliding along a corridor filled with mirrors; moving forward at a pace that I can’t control. I genuinely can’t tell if I’m moving forward, but it’s assumed because that is how we speak of time. Sometimes I’m moving so fast that I can’t recognise who it is that reflects along the corridor, it’s all a blur. Sometimes it’s so slow and I can only see a stranger back, but even she doesn’t look like the person I thought she was. And then there are the times that I have a familiar face, the one I know to be mine, and I can stop and sit with myself in the mirror and find comfort with the person looking back at me.

Some days I don’t know who I am or what I’m doing but I’ve perfected the art of pretending; the motions comes so naturally that there is another being inside of me that takes control of pouring the coffee, turning on the computer, even creating the art. Some days I will draw something and the next day I will be impressed with it, because it didn’t feel like me who created it, and I surprise myself with my own talent.

I allow myself to swim in new ideas and immerse myself in the chaos of being inspired because I know the inspiration fairy doesn’t always flap her wings near me. I work myself to the bone but sometimes burn out right before it’s ready. So it, too, would move to the pile of almosts. The voice would creep back in, only quietly at first, and slowly it would get louder. It would push until it was loud enough that I couldn’t ignore it. Anytime I would even attempt picking something up from the pile of almosts, it felt as if I was physically blocked from doing so. I could only stare at it, often longingly, and somehow could never get started on it again.

I am in a limbo. It comes in waves; the times I feel completely content and as if I’m doing exactly what I should be doing – and the times it feels wrong, everything feels off and I can’t for the life of me, remind myself why I do what I do.

It’s someone else entirely who takes over my body when it has the desire to run away. It’s never about dying, and it’s barely about not wanting to exist anymore; it’s not even about wanting to create a new existence. It’s that this other being takes over and I want to push it away, and it so often feels as if the easiest answer would be non-existence. I am merely existing inside while this mask takes over.