There are seven billion versions of grief, as many as there are people on this Universe. There is young and old grief, with hair or no hair, big or small, crazy or calm, unexpected or predictable, social or introverted, isolated or with company. As you probably guessed the list goes on and on. Grief has many looks even thought it has been stereotyped under one main physical appearance. Hopeless, tragic, unending, and truly miserable. But that is how grief looks like to most people.
And there is no questioning or expectations of anything else. We expect the misery, the doomsday and the loneliness. I did too. I actually started manifesting the look of grief immediately after my tragic loss. I stopped eating, living, laughing, and all of my beliefs about my future switched from "You have your life ahead of you." to "It is all over for you now. Don't even bother as nothing could ever take away the misery and the tragedy of this."
Oh and I believed it, protected it and lived it, every single day without a miss. Was the look of grief coming from my pain or from the world's projection of how I should now live my life? I have to be honest and fair and say that at first it was from both. The pain of loss can be truly miserable but then when I was to start getting better I felt disconnected from the world of living. It was almost as if I had no place in that world now.
It took time and effort to find the cord to plug in to life. I truly believe it would have taken less time to feel alive if people expected me to come back stronger. In their mind they probably expected a sad lonely person. Instead they got me — full of energy, passion, and belief in her life after loss. My grief was one of the seven billion. But our world does not see all of these different versions. Can you see what grief really looks like? Can you see the metamorphosis that it can entail? Is it possible that grief is like our DNA — different for every person?
And yet we expect to see the clones come out looking the same. I am going to ask you for a huge favor today. Will you go look in the mirror and really see your grief for the first time? I believe there is a very good chance that your grief holds life within, just like mine did. I believe that your grief can also be unexpected and create something that you could never have anticipated. Just like the 6 billion people you live with every day. They are all different, with unique thoughts, looks, manners and dreams. Spend time figuring out what your life after loss could look like and remove the projection that stems from the stereotype of loss. You will be surprised that for the first time you can see the possibilities that lay ahead. And yours, I can assure you, will be one of a kind.