You Only Leave Once

A Letter to Those Suffering from Grief after Love

There are said to be five stages of this: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. However, there is no timeline to how long the grieving process may take for you. Some may reach the last stage in a few years, while others could take years to reach acceptance of what they’ve experienced.

Grief is hard to conquer and even harder to understand. It’s a strong emotion that takes over the entire body, but on the other end of that is the feeling of love. It’s also a strong emotion, but where grief hurts, love is welcomed and fills you with warmth. When your loved one was alive you may recall what that love felt like, and now you’re dealing with the grief of losing that. It’s easy to think that grief and love are worlds apart from each other when they’re more similar than people think.

Here are a few quotes that are good examples of the relation between the two.

“Grief is the price we pay for love.”
- Queen Elizabeth II

“What we have once enjoyed deeply we can never lose.
All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.”
- Helen Keller

“The risk of love is loss, and the price of loss is grief - But the pain of grief is only a shadow when compared with the pain of never risking love.”
- Hilary Stanton Zunin

What do these have in common? Grief in connection with love. They’re telling you that one cannot be felt without the other, but it doesn’t have to be something to be afraid of. When someone you love has died, it can feel like the pain of losing them is all that is there. But it doesn’t have to be that way. The love that you shared doesn’t have to disappear because they’re gone. That love can be used to remember the good times and all the memories made. Take the sadness, the anger, the disbelief, and think of why you feel that way. If you didn’t love them then you wouldn’t have those feelings after their death. And to have loved them, even if it ended sooner than planned, can be a beautiful reminder of the warmth that was in your life.
Broken Heart
Women looking at old photo

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