Will I Ever Feel Better?
Today is my daughter Olive’s birthday; she would be turning ten years old if she were still alive. I’ve been thinking about her birth, her life, how much I miss her, remembering what it was like to hold her, remembering her laugh. I’ve also been reflecting on my own grief journey and asking myself—eight and half years in—“do I feel better?”
Integrating Our Grief
When Olive died, I remember feeling rageful when anyone even implied that I might someday feel better. I thought to myself, how?! How could I ever feel any less devastated than I do right now? Having lost something so deeply precious? Someone whom I raised and loved so very much? The thought that a loss as deep as mine, a loss that felt quite literally as if I had lost a piece of myself, could ever feel better seemed absurd to me. And in some ways, it is absurd, because deep loss just isn’t that simple. How can losing one’s child ever feel “better”?
But grief does change with time, especially if we are willing to feel it. Allowing grief to move through our bodies, allowing ourselves to cry and to reflect on what we have experienced, facilitates a gradual process of integration. Integrated grief doesn’t necessarily hurt less, but it does feel less overwhelming. And less overwhelming feels better.
With integration also comes acceptance. Again, our grief might not hurt less with time, but through the process of feeling our grief over and over again we come to deeper and deeper levels of acceptance. When we are able to accept something we are able to relax into it more; instead of tensing up, ready to fight. Acceptance allows our nervous system to relax and trust.
We Feel Better As We Get Better At Grieving
I don’t believe that grief lessens with time, at least not for deep, complex kinds of grief, like the loss of a child. But our ability to navigate and feel our grief improves with practice, and as we become more skillful at feeling, and confident in our ability to ride the waves of our own grief, we do feel better, because we are no longer so scared. We are no longer operating under the false belief that grief is something bad, or dangerous, or weak that we need to push away. When we allow the wisdom of grief in, we open ourselves up to the possibility of true healing. Healing that embraces wholeness and doesn’t deny our pain.
Meet the Author
Do you need a safe, supportive place to grieve? Do you want to heal your relationship with your emotions or your body?
Maggie is a therapist based out of Lawrence, Kansas who specializes in therapy for highly sensitive adults, therapy for self-esteem, therapy for anxiety, therapy for childhood trauma, and grief and bereavement counseling.
Maggie is passionate about helping people overcome shame and the fear of being their true selves. Breaking the cycles of people-pleasing and self-abandonment is possible; you don't have to suffer alone. Maggie offers online therapy throughout the state of Kansas.
Reach out today to schedule your free 15 minute phone consultation!
Other Services Offered By Maggie
In addition to providing online therapy anywhere in Kansas, I’m also a professional astrologer, and offer Birth Chart Readings anywhere in the United States, as well as abroad.
Astrology is a powerful tool for gaining self-awareness, finding meaning in and understanding of our difficult experiences, and for receiving validation regarding our own unique life path. All of which supports our mental health in a positive way!
Interested in getting a Natal Chart Reading? Book a free phone consultation and let’s get started!