There are many kinds of loss and so many shapes of grief. The loss can be of a parent, a partner, a sibling, a friend, or a pet with whom there was a strong bond of affection and love. The depth of the bond we have shared is the measure of the depth of the loss. Sometimes we mourn not so much the one we have lost, but the relationship we had longed for but never had. Whatever the loss, the challenge of grief can never be escaped, and the struggle to make sense of death and come to peace in the face of its power is a struggle that faces us all at some time in our lives.
Much has been written of there being five stages of grief – of shock, anger, bargaining, depresssion and acceptance. And it is true that we can feel many of the emotions that the stages represent. But grieving is never tidy, progressed through step by step. The path is different for every one, like a sudden shower on a sunny day, it can surprise with tears we had long thought gone months even years after the rituals of bereavement have passed. There is no right way to grieve; there is only our individual way through the tears, the sadness, the anger, the guilt, the pain, the heart felt missing .