When my mom first died I gave myself two weeks. I thought that would be sufficient enough time to get over what had happened, grieve a little and then move on.
It's now been two years. I am only now starting to have some sort of understanding of the immensity of what I am dealing with.
I have spent a lot of time lately reflecting, thinking about the differences between two years ago and now.
Two years ago I saw my grief as this outside source of pain, it was something that was happening to me not something that was part of me. It was an interloper. I thought if I was patient enough, if I followed all the right steps it would run its course and go away.
I sat at the kitchen table at the six month marker and decided enough was enough. I had been allowing myself to live with this grief, this intruder, for six months and it was time I took my life back. I marched over to my counsellor's office and told her I was finished with my grief. I was resentful that it had taken over my life and that I had decided to let it go and take my life back.
That lasted about a day.
I have now learned that my grief is not something that is happening TO me, it is something that is PART of me. I can't simply get over it and go back to life before, because the life I had before no longer exists and neither does the person I used to be.
I read that grief, the physical pain you feel in your heart, in your chest, in your soul, is all the love you have for that person with no where to go. I find that comforting.
If I am to live with this ache in my heart forever it's nice to think of it as my heart bursting with love for my Mom.