I have this theory. Grief makes people lie. The idea isn’t that far fetched. We learn early in grief how to mask our pain. We craft well thought out responses to common questions. Choosing who we let in and when. Learning how to make the world think we are OK. Lying is like breathing. We get so good at it that it just begins to happen without a second thought.
When your grief journey begins, you are drawn to other grievers like magnets. It naturally seems to happen, no effort required. You bond over loss. Complete strangers can bring the greatest comfort and promote intense vulnerability. We open up and everything flows out because they get it!
Yet, I believe a lie exists. Not just “a” lie. The biggest lie we tell ourselves and others.
The biggest lie we tell is that it will get easier!
It doesn’t get easier. How could you ever feel better about the death of your child? You simply learn how to live with the pain. It doesn’t lessen. You just get used to the weight of carrying it around. Easier is an illusion.
Life happens in moments when we compartmentalize our grief. We don’t allow ourselves to feel it beyond the surface. It is a complex process that becomes second nature. We get so good at it that eventually we begin to believe the lies. We begin to think grief has gotten easier.
It hasn’t. We are just more skilled at handling it. Our loss settles into our bones. Into our DNA. It shapes who we are. Look any bereaved parent in the eye and ask them about their child. Their eyes tell a story that doesn’t match that of their lips.
What we should be telling each other is that it gets easier to carry our grief. The pain never goes away. Yet, the longer you carry your loss the more coping mechanisms you learn. The more your loss settles into your soul, the stronger you get. You learn how to breathe easier because you can carry more weight.
By saying it gets easier, people expect the pain to lessen. In reality, this is a pain that never goes away.
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