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Unraveling the knot

Grief is like a knot. A tight, hard ball. Seemingly like a solid mass. But actually it’s made up of many different threads, all temporarily joined together.

When you look at this huge knot it can feel infinite, insurmountable, permanent. But, just like any other knot, this is a knot that you have to separate thread-by-thread. It may be bigger than any knot you’ve ever unraveled before, but the size of it doesn’t change what it is or the possible outcome.

Imagine you left a bunch of thread in a bag and it got all tangled up…until it’s in such a mess that you can’t imagine you can possibly unpick it.

Grief is often seen as a new part of you. A shadow that’s with you for life. A tattoo or a scar (one that isn’t healed and still hurts). A big ball of permanent pain that you just get used to.

It isn’t any of these things.

This ball of grief doesn’t need to be permanent. The threads can come apart. It may seem like a big messy ball…..but the truth is it is a collection of random threads and if you take the time to separate them out one-by-one you’ll no longer have the knot.

There are many things that can make up this knot of grief:

*Parts of your life you feel are missing without them

*Your own sense of identity (if any part of your identity was strongly connected to them)

*Guilt you have about anything you believe you did wrong by them

*Resentment you have over anything you feel they did wrong to you that now can’t be resolved (and perhaps the guilt you feel about holding anything against them)

*Your fear and expectation over what your grief is meant to be and what would happen if you didn’t have it

*Your attachment to a fantasy future with them and fear of creating a new one

*Your inability to see how you can do the things they used to do for you

*The pedestal you’ve created for them (which likely has grown since their death) which makes it very difficult to be honest about who they really were

*Your fear about stepping fully into a new version of your life (your desire to stay in grief limbo…which can feel safer than launching into the great unknown).

Any or all of these threads and and many, many more can be making up the knot of your grief.

Taking the time and putting in the effort of separating these lovingly from one another and seeing them for what they really are i.e. not a big ball of grief, is one of the most freeing things you’ll ever do.

Don’t commit to your pain. Commit to unravelling it.



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