Grief and bruises – bruises and grief

You’ve had a bruise before, right? It is where you have received a blow to a part of your body; the second it happens you have a sharp feeling of pain, you instantly draw in a breath, you look at that part of your body in complete disbelief that that just happened and you rub it like mad to ease the immediate pain response that ALWAYS follows, with – out – exception.

Within the first few seconds it hurts so much, again – you look at that part of your body and question “how did that happen?” and you begin an assessment of how bad it is, you might watch for the weal to arrive, red and hot that with time will turn blue-black, (later yellow if it is a really hard knock), and maybe you even consider how long it might take for it to heal. Once the obvious assault has healed and finally disappeared altogether, there is a period when you might inadvertently touch that area, or put slight pressure on it and you find that it still hurts. That is because the injury is still there, you just can’t see it anymore. You might even deliberately poke it to see if it still hurts because you want to be sure.

This is exactly the same as grief, except, here’s the news; grief lasts longer than a bruise, it hurts more and you can’t exactly see it. But you sure as heck can feel it. It does recede with time, but every now and then you might “bump” it and you will find deep in the tissue of your psyche it is still there and you will still have a response. As long as you are alive your relationship with the person you lost is also alive even though they are not there to reciprocate in person. And just like the bruise, it will hurt every time you “poke” it –, with a memory or a reminiscence. But the pain of grief will lessen with time, just as for each of us the time it takes a bruise to heal will differ from person to person, and like a bruise how we grieve and how long it takes is unique to each of us.

About the blogger:
Catherine Spence is our Social Care Manager.