Everyone seems to be in such a hurry to just get over it. You know what I mean. Someone suffers the devastating loss of a loved one – a parent, partner, or child. His friends give him a decent amount of time and then start telling him to “get over it” and “move on.” People tend to give an interval for grief, and then they seem to want the same person back. I’d like to think that they only have the grieving person’s well-being in mind, but I’m not sure that’s always the case. They want their old friend back, you know, the one who didn’t have this large emotional burden. They think that if they can finish grieving, things will go back to the way they were. I understand that, but what they create is a person who is now grieving, and feels guilty for that grief, because it makes his or her friends feel bad. I’m sorry, but that seems a little twisted to me.
Here’s the deal. They never return to being the person they used to be. They never get over it. They learn to cope, they somehow keep living, but they are always changed. If we are real friends, we honor that. We may grieve the loss of the friend that we used to have, but we need to appreciate the friend that we have now that will never be the same. Eventually, grief fades in intensity somewhat, but how long it takes is different for everyone. And they are changed forever. They may bounce back to someone similar to who we knew before. They may even look and sound the same sometimes, but they aren’t the same, and we shouldn’t expect them to be.
There is no getting over it. Moving on can happen, but as a friend to the one suffering from loss, it may take longer than we feel comfortable watching. As friends of the grieved, we just have to get over it ourselves. We will never have the same friend back, untouched by what has happened. And we shouldn’t ask them to be. We just need to accept and appreciate them for who they are now, even when that’s uncomfortable for us.