Thursday, November 11, 2010

There is no such thing as moving on

Yesterday I saw a friend I hadn't seen in quite a while. Literally over a year. I had thought about her often but she was a friend I only saw when I entered her store - she wasn't someone I socialized with yet I enjoyed her company and we chatted about many things as we did our business.
Anyway, I was glad to see her in the store when I entered yesterday and the inevitable "Hi, how are you?" came up.
I looked at her. "Not well," I answered. She immediately looked concerned. She was obviously afraid to ask why but wanted to. So I told her.
And then she said something that was the last thing I expected to hear. "I know exactly where you are right now. I lost my husband a year ago this summer." Sadly, a kindred soul.
So we talked about what we are both feeling, what we are both experiencing and how similar it was.
And we commiserated about the dumb things that people say in an effort to be helpful.
Like "you need to move on".
Just to let you know - there is no "getting over it and moving on". It's ridiculous. You don't move on from a loss like this. Things are different. Maybe you get used to "different" or at least learn to co-exist with it but it bothers me when people tell me I have to move on, that John would want me to.
To me moving on means getting past the person you are grieving. You don't ever do that. Not if you cared at all for that person.
Grief is personal and everyone does it differently. Every relationship is different too.
But if there was any relationship at all, you don't ever move on from it.  You just live the different life you have now. The life that doesn't have those people in it.

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