Good Grief, Charlie Brown
I had to borrow the title from one of my most loved books as a child. I don't think I read much apart from Charlie Brown books for the whole of primary school. It may explain a number of things about me really! Anyway, I've just returned from another visit with Melissa. For those of you tuning in late, she's the psychologist helping me work through all that has happened in the last 2 years. And today we hit on something I had been wondering about. Grief.
It was recently the second anniversary of 'the break up' and although this sounds like ages, it's only been 6 or 7 months since I last saw the Ex. I've been feeling like everything I held in to get through 18 months of hatred and threats have finally come to the surface and I am exhaling. Trying to let it all go. Better out, than in, as they say. As I was recounting the panic I felt last week at discovering my Ex is now delving into the online universe (is it wrong to Google your Ex?), she said my distress was natural. 'You're still grieving'. My friend Trish, has suggested the same thing.
I was wondering if what I've been feeling would just lessen in time. I'm stuck between feeling like this has gone on for ages, and in reality only getting space from the old relationship recently. But it also begs the question: how long do you grieve? I have friends who's parents have died, and I have lost a friend. I have seen that grief can last years. But is death different to the death of a relationship? Is there a difference when the other person is still out there somewhere?
I've also chatted to another friend, Stephanie, about the end of friendships. I'm beginning to think everyone has an 'ex' friend out there somewhere too. And again, these can be intense relationships that hurt you when things turn sour or are one sided. Maybe there is some clever calculation that can tell you your grief will last X number of months, based on the length and intensity of relationship. And even though I'm tempted to Google to try to find a grief calculator, I guess it's something that is quite personal and specific to each relationship...living or dead.
I wonder if closure plays a part in the grieving process. If there are things left unsaid, does that prolong how you feel? Like many things I've contemplated over the last couple of years, I think closure has to be something within yourself, rather than with another person. I have come to realise that you will never get exactly what you need from someone else. You need to reconcile how you feel within you, no matter how hard that is. And that's the point I'm at now. Working through things, letting stuff go, grieving...for however long it takes. Because it's what I need to do. So like Charlie Brown, I'm glad the Doctor is in. Good grief, indeed.