9 Quotes on Grief and Healing

tennessee 070lthe long and winding roadThere are probably as many forms of grief as there are people who grieve.  That’s the thing–each feeling is different, making the grief itself as tough to pin down as old mercury out of a broken thermometer.

My mom died four years ago today and it’s my opinion that losing your mom is like having a chunk of your heart ripped out.  There were times when thundering waves of grief simply threw me to the ground with nothing to cover me but a hot blanket of tears.  I just knew that I would never breathe normally again.

But of course I did.  We all make it to the healing wall sooner or later.

Other episodes of grief occasionally swim by–losing a job, walking a beloved pet to the Rainbow Bridge or leaving one home for a new one.  I’ve experienced all those things in the last four years.  Heck, my back helps me mourn the passing of youth every single day!

So what do we do?

Here’s what I know for sure:  Giving myself permission to feel grief is essential.  There is no time frame for grief, so if anyone says or implies, “Gee, aren’t you done with that yet,” please feel free to kick him or her in the shin.  Feel what you need to feel whenever grief rises.

I’ve been melancholy for the last few days.  I knew of course that the anniversary of Mom’s death was coming, so I purposely chose to sit with the grief.  In that process, I found that parts of me have healed, or are healing.

That’s what I want to share with you.  Thoughts on healing.  I’ve chosen these quotes because they come from books and books are where I so often draw my comfort. I hope they touch your heart as they touch mine.

Remember, your grief is your own. Don’t let anyone else judge it–or you.

I’d like to send special healing thoughts to my friend Lois who lost her mom this month.  Be good to yourself, my dear!

Thoughts on grief and healing

“And I felt like my heart had been so thoroughly and irreparably broken that there could be no real joy again, that at best there might eventually be a little contentment. Everyone wanted me to get help and rejoin life, pick up the pieces and move on, and I tried to, I wanted to, but I just had to lie in the mud with my arms wrapped around myself, eyes closed, grieving, until I didn’t have to anymore.” 
― Anne LamottOperating Instructions: A Journal of My Son’s First Year

“I suppose that since most of our hurts come through relationships so will our healing, and I know that grace rarely makes sense for those looking in from the outside.” 
― Wm. Paul YoungThe Shack: Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity

“I’m here. I love you. I don’t care if you need to stay up crying all night long, I will stay with you. There’s nothing you can ever do to lose my love. I will protect you until you die, and after your death I will still protect you. I am stronger than Depression and I am braver than Loneliness and nothing will ever exhaust me.” 
― Elizabeth GilbertEat, Pray, Love

“The human heart has a way of making itself large again even after it’s been broken into a million pieces.” 
― Robert James WallerThe Bridges of Madison County

“And so I wait. I wait for time to heal the pain and raise me to me feet once again – so that I can start a new path, my own path, the one that will make me whole again.” 
― Jack CanfieldChicken Soup for the Teenage Soul II

“Simply touching a difficult memory with some slight willingness to heal begins to soften the holding and tension around it. (74)” 
― Stephen LevineA Year to Live: How to Live This Year as If It Were Your Last

“It is important for people to know that no matter what lies in their past, they can overcome the dark side and press on the a brighter world.” 
― Dave PelzerA Child Called “It”

“In a world plagued with commonplace tragedies, only one thing exists that truly has the power to save lives, and that is love.” 
― Richelle E. GoodrichDandelions: The Disappearance of Annabelle Fancher

“Love opens your heart, trumps fear, and paves the way for healing in all aspects of your life.” 
― Lissa RankinMind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself

Photo courtesy of greyerbaby

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  1. Cathy says:

    I love these quotes, Beth. We all do handle our grief in different ways and I appreciate the reminder to accept each other’s individual expression of grief. We all come at it from different vantage points.

    This quote spoke to me, “The human heart has a way of making itself large again even after it’s been broken into a million pieces.”

  2. Beth says:

    I like that one too, Cathy. It reminds me that our minds don’t always know the depth of our character, but our hearts do.

    So glad you’re a part of my life . . .

  3. I’m blessed to have my parents still going strong, Beth – both in their late 80s. I can’t begin to imagine how painful the loss of a parent must be.
    I do agree however, that each of us grieves differently and no one has the right to tell anyone to ‘move on’.
    What a great set of quotes you’ve chosen! ♥

    • Beth says:

      You are indeed blessed, Corinne, although I sure wouldn’t my mom to continue to suffer the pain of cancer as she did. Thank you for your words, for taking time to write and for affirming the quotes. I do enjoy all of them!

      B Well!

  4. Melissa says:

    Hi Beth,

    I LOVE these quotes. I was trying to pick out a favorite and really love to many to list. I just started to watch that movie, ‘Heaven is for Real’ and took a quick break to do a few things and saw this. What a great combo 🙂 Thannks for sharing.

  5. Thank you, Beth, for these encouraging quotes – and your personal perspective. I’m with you, grief is such a personal phenomenon. And it bugs the hell out of me when folks try to generalize it. No can do. Furthermore, it’s so hurtful to the one suffering. Please accept my best wishes as you navigate the anniversary…

    • Beth says:

      I get the hell bugged out of me too, Bill, when people, well-meaning though they may well be, try to impose their judgments around grief on someone else. It’s so much better to just sit with someone who is grieving, and know that our presence is enough.

      Thank you for your good wishes. The day passed, as they always do. Appreciate your support and your comments here! Keep ’em coming!

  6. Herby Bell says:

    Touched my heart again, Beth. In response to your heartfelt words about your Mom, the other night I had a breakthrough about my Dad who died, ehem…51 years ago! I’d always thought my Dad was distant and couldn’t really feel him for the years we had together and since. Now I’ve done a lotta Daddy work and thought I’d gotten it squared away…And then it happened, just a RUSH of tears how he’s ALWAYS been with me and JUST how much like him I AM. Not in the heady place, but deeply anchored in the feeling and heart place. SOMETHING hooked up in such a welcome way…

    YES! you are so spot on–the work and the gifts just keep comin’. THIS is the stuff our lives are made of. See what you make me do?…THANK YOU!

    • Beth says:

      Oh Herby, I could feel the emotions in your words and am so honored to have tipped them even the tiniest bit. My experience (and I suspect yours, too!) is that once I allow my heart to open, there is no going back and I never really know how “more will be revealed.”

      I am tickled pink that you had such a breakthrough about your dad. I’ll keep doin’ what I’m doin’ if you will!

      Love to you!

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