Monday, February 18, 2013

Get Over Your Grief! It's Been How Long?

by Kate Collins

Don't you hate advice given by someone who has not walked in your shoes? This Valentine's Day was rough for me, and it's my third!!! one without my beloved Greek. It's been 2 1/2 years since he passed away suddenly, yet some days it feels like it just happened last month - and the pain feels that sharp, too.  Yet there are people who think that because it's been that long, I should be "over it."

I try to explain that you don't "get over" losing someone. Their departing doesn't just leave a hole in your heart. It leaves a big scar across it, too, and scars don't go away. They fade a bit, that's all. But unless you've gone through such a momentous loss, there's no way to understand. And I'm not blaming anyone for that. I was one of those clueless people once. It was a great place to be.

I remember when my best friend lost her mother. She grieved hard, and I had no way to relate. My mom was alive and healthy -- until she wasn't. Then it was my turn to get it. I felt terrible for being nonchalant about her loss.

So I do have to bite my tongue when someone tells me I need to get over it and move on. Of course I've moved on. You have no choice but to move on. You have to get up every day and face life, and life is all about change. But please don't tell me to get over it. "It' will always be with me because the "it" is my husband. I don't want to get over him. I love him still.

That's why I was so grateful to find a grief counselor who had also lost a husband. She got it! That's also why I can't understand how someone who's never been married can be a marriage counselor. I mean, really? Even with all the training in the world, unless you've been married, you just can't get it.

Do you agree with my reasoning? Have you ever been told to "get over" something?