I use metaphors quite often in my thinking and included many of them in my book, Surviving the Loss of Your Loved One; Jan's Rainbow. This book was inspired by the rainbow that surrounded our home the day after I lost my wife of 40 years, Jan, to Ovarian cancer. I'd love to share more of these metaphors if anyone is interested. And also would love to hear from those of you who have some that have helped you.
American Indians tell wonderful stories and have some great words and phrases that often serve as powerful metaphors for many things. One such phrase is proud flesh. When a horse is injured its flesh heals but there is always a reminder of the injury in the feelings (or perhaps lack of feelings) around the wound. Of course, this works for humans as well. Those who have ever had an operation or received a deep cut know that the itching, strange pains, and numbness can last for a very long time – even after the wound is quite well healed.
Losing a loved one can leave a very deep wound and a very long-lasting scar. After the initial healing from the grieving process there will very likely be some proud flesh. This proud flesh manifests itself as a setback in your own healing process. Just when you feel there is some light at the end of the tunnel of your healing, you regress into a few bad days. The wounds that you thought had healed begin to act up. My experience, and that of many of my associates in the bereavement process, is that this is quite common. And it often occurs after a year or so – just when you thought you were out of the woods. The good news is that the proud flesh usually doesn’t act up for too long and that, after a while, the resulting pain is less severe. And, when it does, it serves as a good reminder that your love is still with you.