Learning to move forward
Grief can be considered a universal emotion. Many mammals, including humans are known to feel this. Elephants have been recorded to visit the same spot where their matriarch died, orcas have been observed to mourn for their dead calf, and not surprisingly, our nearest relatives, primates have been observed to grieve as well. For us humans, we perform rituals of many forms to remember our deceased.
There need not be a social occasion for me to remember the loss of my father. It has been more than two years since he died. The intensity of the pain has subsided and grief is now like a bag of mixed emotions. It usually manifests as a quiet mental process of remembering his great influence in my life, accompanied by feelings of sadness, and feelings of enormous gratitude for his love for me and our family.
As Julia Samuel, author of “Grief Works” wrote, grief is a process that has to be lived through, in whatever form, and however long it may take. I agree with this. People cope not in a uniform or standard way. It is important that we neither try to intensify nor try to dismiss the emotion. Rather, it should always be acknowledged when it is felt. I write this post as a means to acknowledge this emotion and because I share the view that in order to cope, we do not move on from it. What we really do is try to move forward with it.