Last year I read a few good books about grief. I can’t remember which one pointed out the distinction between healing and integration but it was a game changer for me.
I thought I had to heal from the loss I felt. And healing to me felt like rectifying or resolving something that was broken. Which I couldn’t wrap my head around. I knew that the parts of me that were broken by loss were not meant to be mended.
The word integration works well for me. It feels like allowing vs resisting. I can still be whole with broken parts. The person I am now is different from the one I was ‘before’. And there is no way to be her ever again. Grief is a part of me now. I will never stop grieving my dad. There is a part of me gone and that is not something I will get back. Nor do I need to fight against that reality. It is an inevitable part of human evolution. If you love, you will lose and you will grieve. Love doesn’t go away over time and neither does grief. It is the price we pay for love. The changes are permanent and it is the integration and acceptance of those changes that allows you to move forward.
As dark as this may seem, I can tell you that grief doesn’t come without its own gifts. I am more compassionate. Softer. Less reckless with my words and more intentional with my time. I understand the impermanence of everything- the good, the bad, the pergatory. None of it lasts. So when things are great, enjoy them. When things suck, hang on it will get better. And when you are in the shitty zone of moving between the two trust that it won’t last forever.