“Christy, it seems like the grieving is getting harder, not easier”. Is that how it is supposed to go?” My response:
“Just imagine you wake on an Island, the Island of Grief, you are alone. You have no bearings; it is somewhere, in the middle of nowhere. You are completely exposed; you have no map, and no shelter. You have no idea how to begin gathering provisions, let alone find your way off this Island, an Island where you don’t want to subsist.
You are numb with shock, your days begin to slowly pass, and you force yourself to begin anew. You stumble as you navigate your surroundings and try to assess what you need just to survive. Each day, you set out on a journey to become more familiar with the Island. You are learning to live a new life in a new land, finding protection and reliefs from the elements is your daily fight…you continually yearn for comfort and rescue from the Island of Grief. You grow weary from being blown about by the winds and exhausted by your efforts to survive exposure to the elements on the Island, the Island of Grief.
As each day passes, you begin to gain your bearings on the Island. One by one you are able to find the resources to start building a bridge back to civilization. Gathering the materials for a bridge is tiring, some days you want to quit, and you easily resign yourself that you will never leave the Island of Grief. Yet, when you wake, you find the will to live and survive, and you continue gathering supplies for your bridge to “normal”, a bridge that will take you back to comforts once familiar.
Building your bridge is grueling; you want to give up. Some days you see no progress and the work you have previously done is washed to sea. You begin to wonder if building the bridge back to civilization is an impossible feat, but you continue gathering the resources and the work of building. In spite of your doubt and exhaustion, you carefully dig deep to anchor each pylon; every board you nail is thoughtfully placed. Some days your work is effortless on the bridge, while other days you are in too much pain and you don’t want to face the work or leave your shelter. Just imagine, no matter how painful or exhausting the work, it is bridging you back, pylon to pylon, plank by plank, you are bridging your way back to “normal”, it’s a “new normal”, but once you arrive you will feel remarkably comfortable and comforted, and you will leave the Island of Grief behind.
Your work is not in vain, when you wake to find yourself once again dropped on the Island of Grief, you will have a map, and shelter, you will find your way more easily to your provisions and the bridge. More work and a few more resources might be necessary, some missing boards on your bridge may need to be replaced, but your pylons will hold, and you will once again work your way across the bridge back to your “new normal”.
Yes sweet widow, getting off the Island of Grief is hard work; it will get harder before it becomes easier. Keep up the good work my friend, and work it is, but it is so worth the effort. Once your pylons are set and the bridge is in place, when you find yourself dropped back on the Island of Grief once again, it will take less effort to get back to our “new normal”.