Grief can seem as unconquerable as Mt. Everest.
You have no climbing experience. You aren't sure that you'll survive the elements. Or, that you have the equipment required to safely climb the mountain.
Your very life is at stake. You didn't set out to conquer mountains. You didn't ask to be left out in the wild, uncontrollable elements of nature. But this is where you find yourself.
Looking up at the formidable mountain of grief, you feel overwhelmed and exhausted.
You feel defeated. How do you even begin the climb? Courage. You might not feel courageous, but courage is an integral part of your soul. It is there waiting for you to access it. It is this courage that will keep you moving, even though it feels like you'll never make it to the top.
You don't have to climb the mountain in one day, one year, or even 10 years.
But you do have to keep moving. You can climb this mountain, even though right now it might feel impossible. Keep moving forward. Courage and determination. You feel that you're alone on your climb, but you're not.
There are guides who have climbed this mountain before, who can share with you the best way to navigate its challenges. Take one day at a time. One step at a time. But keep moving up the mountain.
Eventually, your perspective on the mountain will start to change, and you'll see more clearly, realizing that what you thought was Mt. Everest, is actually a smaller and more manageable mountain.
You realize that you can do this. And, that the voice you heard telling you that you couldn't make it was the fearful voice of Grief whispering in your ear.
You still have times where the mountain, once again, seems unconquerable, and you may need a day or two to regain your courage. That is ok.
Climbing a mountain and overcoming grief are both processes that take courage, determination and time.
The journey isn't about 'getting over' your loved one. Your loved one will always be a part of your life and your heart.
The journey is about honoring the love you shared and finding a way to get to the top of the mountain where you can experience joy in your life again.
You can learn how to live again. Don't stay stuck half way up the mountain. Grief is hard work. But with courage and determination, you can make it to the top.
Don't let grief steal more joy from your life than it already has.
One step at a time.
This post is part of Common Grief, a Healthy Living editorial initiative. Grief is an inevitable part of life, but that doesn't make navigating it any easier. The deep sorrow that accompanies the death of a loved one, the end of a marriage or even moving far away from home, is real. But while grief is universal, we all grieve differently. So we started Common Grief to help learn from each other. Let's talk about living with loss. If you have a story you'd like to share, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.