Grief is not something that magically disappears. As long as love existed for the person, then grief will always be present. The intensity and the power of the grief to dictate our day may lessen, but the sadness will always remain, especially if tapped into.
Reminders of the loss are always present. Some reminders can bring a smile to our face, while others sometime can bring a frown. Reminders can be simple calendar dates of importance such as holidays or anniversaries, but they can also take on a concrete form as well.
Secondary losses are one type of sad reminder. I would like to go over a few that I have experienced. I recently loss my grandmother in June of 2014. She was always there for me even in the smallest things. Whenever I needed something sewed, she would set a pair of pants or shirt for me that was torn. She had an old sewing machine from a Macy's 1950s catalogue that she masterfully utilized to sew or patch any garment in need. Recently i tore my pants and now have to face the reality she is not there to sew it. Her worth to me is beyond sewing obviously, but the thought, oh grandma will sew it, or even more so the through, grandma would have sewed it, reminded me she is no longer here.
Another sad reminder can be found in social media or electronic devices. Social media, texts or voice mails can record past conversations. If one is reviewing their page, or deleting old messages, they can discover an old voice. That happened to me as well recently, where I came across a message of my grandma is early June, where she had left me a message to help her with her roof gutters. To hear her voice again was a sad reminder she is no longer there. I would love to have her leave me a message again with a need or favor!
Sad reminders are part of life. It is alright to feel sad and reflect on these moments because they remind us of the wonderful relationship we once had. They can also strengthen current relationships by reminding us not everything is forever on this earth.
If you are interested also in grief counseling, then please review our program in grief counseling. I am the Assistant Executive Director at AIHCP and also a certified grief counselor.
Mark Moran, MA, GC-C