What Does Recovery Look Like?
Recovery from grief looks different to different people. For some, recovery means not crying every day or not having to take medication to get through the day. For me, recovery means truly enjoying my life with the people I spend my time with on a daily basis. Recovery doesn’t happen overnight, and it won’t happen unless you invest time and energy into working through the devastating pain that comes with grief.
When Austin died, I was convinced nothing was going to make me feel better. My son had died, and I was just going to have to live with the pain for the rest of my life. However, that was not to be, because I found an educational program that taught me about grief and what it truly means to be a griever. This program taught me that with very specific steps, I could let go of the negativity and guilt I was feeling. This experience moved me beyond words and inspired me to want to help others who were broken-hearted and grieving too.
When Donovan died, I resisted the steps that I knew would help me, because I was angry—angry at the circumstances that caused him to die and angry that I had yet again been dealt a crappy hand in life. How was I going to live without another child? It took me nearly an entire year to start picking up the pieces, but once I did, everything started to fall into place, and I started to feel joy again.
Even both my own experiences were so vastly different. Now that I am what I consider “recovered,” I love talking about my boys. I could share stories about them for hours because they were both amazing individuals. I typically do not cry, because these memories do not cause me pain. They make me smile and feel love—the love I felt when they were alive. That is what recovery looks like to me.