Saturday, February 9, 2019

Good Grief by Christine Bush

It’s that time of year when everyone talks about Valentine’s Day.  Love, flowers, happiness and joy. 

The idea is a good one. Sometimes it’s a real celebration. But sometimes real life doesn’t fit the mode. Sometimes we are grieving.

The grief can originate in all kinds of loss.

People we love can die.  Or have serious illness.

Heartbreak can follow losing a beloved pet. Or even our dream job. Or our home.

We might suffer a broken heart, rejected by someone we hoped to have a “happily ever after” with.

Life does NOT always resemble one of our books.

  So how do we get through this?

I’ve come to believe several things about grief.

First and foremost. It’s NOT bad thing.  Grief is a strong human reaction to loss and pain, and an absolute result of LOVE. We grieve a lot when we love a lot, and life takes a wrong turn. It may sound corny, but I believe it’s an honor to grieve. Even though it hurts so much.  It’s normal, natural, and human.  I’ve had some Valentine's Days where I consciously remembered that fact to get through. It helped.

Next, it’s a PERSONAL thing. No one else really understands our particular feelings. Grief will last as long as it lasts. There is no timetable, and no specific way that a person should grieve. Every loss is different for every person. Some people have intense, solid, powerful feelings, with hurricane force.

 Some people grieve in a more sporadic way, living daily life until a “grief attack” hits like a squall, causing feelings and emotions to leak out without warning, then returning to their daily life again.

There’s no right way.

Lastly, it’s never really over.

That sounds like a harsh statement. The overwhelming feelings WILL cease over time. It definitely gets better.   But grief changes us. It doesn’t mean we will never be happy or joyful again. It means we have been changed by the depth of our experience and emotion.  The intense storm may cease (or at least appear on the horizon less often), but the memories remain. And that’s what I’ve found is ok.

Sometimes we gain more self- knowledge.  Sometimes we gain wisdom. Sometimes we gain more understanding. Sometimes we gain more peace and acceptance of life.  Sometimes we gain more gratitude and appreciation.  Always we are changed.

So here comes Valentine’s Day, ready or not.  If your heart is hurting, I send an understanding hug. I have been there.  We can get through it.

Love is love.  Even when we’re in the throes of loss, we can sometimes look around and see love and share it.  We can appreciate our loving families. We can focus on our friends. We can love our pets.  We can find a way to share love and care in the world by volunteering or helping someone in a tough situation.  Or not. Your choice. It’s all ok.

But most of all, we can allow ourselves our feelings when we are grieving.  And celebrate the fact that we are people who dared to love. Grief is good, in that way. 
What's helped you to get through a time of loss? We'd love to hear!


Christine Bush is a USA Today Bestselling author of romance, romantic mystery, and suspense.  She can be found living in the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania with her husband and 2 lazy cats, and spending time with her 13 grandchildren.   When she’s not writing, she’s teaching Psychology at a local college, and working with clients in her private practice as a Marriage and Family Therapist. She loves to hear from readers and writers!

Christine’s novella “Christmas with the Cat Lady” is a story of healing from grief. I hope you love it!  Print or ebook!










  1. Thank you for this beautiful post, Christine. Six years after my husband's death, I still have "widow moments" when the grief slams into me, as raw and fresh as it was the night he died. I know those moments will pop up occasionally as long as I am here to experience them. My "new" life is wonderful, but those moments remind me of the different kind of wonderful it used to be. I am blessed.

  2. Blessed is right! Thanks for your comment!

  3. Christine, thanks for that very thoughtful and meaningful post. Even after over forty years since the death of my parents, I still have those grieving moments when I wish they were still here.

  4. Good comments about grief. It's important a person grieve a lost.
    Margaret Daley

  5. Beautiful, Christine, and so well said. Yes, grieving for the loss of a loved one is difficult, especially around the holidays.

  6. Such wise and beautiful word Christine.