I’m a fan of the cartoon character Charlie Brown. I believe he was one of the first to utter the term “good grief” on TV. In Charlie’s case, “good grief” was his catchphrase, his favorite way of saying he was bummed out or fed up. In our collective cases, however, good grief may have a whole new meaning.
I was describing a busy day here in Naples to one of my dear friends earlier this week. Her reply was, “ it sounds like a glorious day… Good grief!“ I thought about the term good grief. I realize that grief can, in fact, and will, eventually, be good. It’s hard to believe that anything that comes to us through such a brutal experience can have any good associated with it. But I think it can… Let me share the reasons why.
I’m a little over eight months into my grief journey. Like many of you, I’ve read several books on grief. I have attended grief share programs. I’ve sat across the desk from grief counselors. I’ve shed more tears of grief than I thought humanly possible. I’ve benefited greatly from our Facebook page. I’ve leaned on my tribe. I’ve bared my soul to my closest friends, and I’ve told my story to anyone who will listen! (sometimes more than once) My grief journey has allowed me to share my experience with many people. I love talking about my late wife. I find telling people about her life to be very healing. It’s all part of good grief.
We all know grief is a process, a means to an end. For us to get through this experience, we must embrace the process of grief. We need to come to terms that our old normals are not our new normals. We need to accept the fact that our loved one is no longer with us. We need to embrace the good news that we still have a life to live. We all know that is what our wives would want. The process of grief becomes good because it allows us to take the time and find the space we need to pick ourselves up, find our footing, and retake our place in society. Grief becomes good grief when we realize that while our loved ones are no longer with us physically, they will always be a beautiful part of our lives. Grief is good because it’s NOT permanent. It’s meant to be gone through, not lived in permanently. It’s a journey, not a destination.
When I wake up and look forward to the day, that’s “good grief.”
When I’m happy, and in the company of friends, that’s “good grief.”
When I remember her radiant, loving smile, that’s “good grief.”
When I look to the future, without forgetting the past, that’s “good grief.”
My wish for you today is that you experience some “ good grief.”