Grief is the conflicting feelings caused by the end of or change in a familiar pattern of behavior.
I like that definition of grief. Conflicted feelings are often hard to grasp and difficult to explain. We want our friends and family to understand our grief, yet grief is so personal. It can be hard to find the words for such extreme pain. Besides which, grief makes us vulnerable. We are open wounds trying to find the right size Band-Aid, but it doesn’t exist. If we fail to express our suffering, however, grief can be accompanied by isolation and loneliness. Sometimes an analogy is the best way to describe grief to friends and loved ones. Comparisons make our feelings less personal and easier for others to understand.
4 Comparisons To Explain Your Grief And Loss
Here are 4 comparisons that I use to describe grief:
1. Punched in the Gut
Grief is like being punched in the gut during a fight. Your stomach feels twisted inside out. You’re doubled over, and just as you’re about to right yourself, in comes the knockout blow. You didn’t see it coming. Foggy and disoriented you stumble around before hitting the ground–hard. The fight is over; you lost. It’s going to take some time to heal these wounds, and don’t be surprised if they leave a few scars.
2. Worst Case of Flu
Grief is like having the worst case of flu ever! Except, it doesn’t go away in 7-10 days. Your exhausted body aches. You’ve lost your appetite, and there’s no way you’re getting out of bed. The pounding in your head is unbearable, and you wish everyone would leave you alone. But you know somebody needs to bring you broth, water, and pain reliever at least every four hours.
3. Lugging Around an Extra 30 pounds
Grief is like packing on an extra 30 pounds. Your body feels heavy, and with the extra weight, every movement is an effort. Even your cell phone feels like a boulder as you pick it up to send a text. So, you put it back down and hope the person on the other end understands you just aren’t strong enough to lift it right now.
4. Being on a Roller Coaster
Grief is like riding a roller coaster. You find yourself paused at the crest of the first hill; life is filled with renewed hope and excitement. The next moment, you’re filled with fear as anxious feelings of uncertainty course through your body. You scream your way to the bottom and, again, find temporary relief as you race to the top of the next hill.
More like this: What Should I Journal About After A Loss?
What does grief feel like to you? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section.