Curing v. Healing
Curing is the physical elimination of a problem. If you cure something, you have made it as if they did not have the something to begin with.
Healing is the qualitative change that can happen to people in the midst of pain and suffering, even though that pain and suffering is not removed.
Society tends to treat grief as if it were something you need to cure. To get over ~ to move on ~ to eliminate the pain. Unfortunately, that is not the way it works. Grief is multilayered and integrates into every aspect of our lives. It is heart-wrenching trying to heal from the actual loss, yet society often forgets that we will have constant reminders for the rest of our lives that our child is not physically here. Our hopes and dreams for our child were also taken with them. People may understand that their angelversary, birthday, and the holidays can be difficult, but it is so much more than that.
April 10 marks two years since my son transitioned and changing our paper family calendar a few days ago from March to April brought on a sharp wave of grief with a lot of tears. A couple of months ago I saw something online and instantly thought Trevin would love it and I should buy it for him – and then reality flooded in. You can anticipate for milestone dates, but nothing can prepare you for these unexpected triggers.
There is a misguided notion that grief is a process that has some sort of magical closure. We get stronger and adapt to the sharp edges of the new ‘normal’ that was forced upon us; however, the pain is never entirely eliminated. It becomes a part of us. And that is okay. Grief is the psychological and physical expression of pain. And pain is an expression of unconditional love.
There has not been a single day I have not thought about my son and missed everything about him. Trying to crawl out of the darkness is excruciating and some days it still casts its dark shadow. But if there are shadows, there has to be light. Shakti Gawain once wrote, “The more light you allow within you, the brighter the world you live in will be.” When I began to let the light illuminate my path, it started to slowly heal – not cure – my soul. Trust me, I am not stuck; I am leaning into the pain to find the light.
Trevin Shines On.