Your Pain is Not Your Connection

General / General : Litsa

Or, perhaps I should say, that your pain is not your only connection. The pain in your grief is most certainly your connection to their absence. But it is unlikely that your is your connection to who they were. It is not the connection that most represents their life and your relationship.

I recently posted a list on Instagram of things that (at least for me) are my connections to the people I have lost. I shared this because I remember in my early grief when I feared that my pain changing, evolving, or becoming easier to carry was a sign that I must be losing my connection.

We have heard from thousands of people with this fear, so I know I am not alone. But what I also know, as grieve and a grief therapist, is that my pain is not my connection. Your pain is not your connection.

In fact, it is often when our pain takes up less space than our other connections are able to strengthen and deepen.

If your pain is not your connection, what are your connections?

Your connection is your memories.

Your connection is the things they taught you.

Your connection is your ability to imagine what they would say and the advice they would give you.

Your connection is the moments you see something and think, they would have loved this.

Your connection is visiting the places you always went together.

Your connection is the co-destiny you create when you visit the places they always wanted to see but never did.

Your connection is knowing you would never be the person you are had they not lived.

Your connection is doing the hard work of making the most of this "option B" life because you know that is what they would have wanted for you.

Your connection is every time that you introduce someone new to them through your memories and stories, shouldering the pain and tears to the side long enough to say, they were amazing and I wish you could have met them.

Some folks on Instagram asked for this as a printable - so here it is! If you'd like to print it out, enter your email below next to whichever version you prefer. We'll send you the free printable pdf, so just check your email to download it.

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After writing online articles for What’s Your Grief for over a decade, we finally wrote a tangible, real-life book!

What’s Your Grief? Lists to Help you Through Any Loss is for people experiencing any type of loss. This book discusses some of the most common grief experiences and breaks down psychological concepts to help you understand your thoughts and emotions. It also shares useful coping tools, and helps the reader reflect on their unique relationship with grief and loss.

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