I have never understood that phrase and why people say it after someone has lost a loved one? I didn’t get it when people said it to me or my mom after we lost my grandmother and now that I’ve lost my mom, I certainly don’t get it. To me it is one of the most hurtful things that can be said.
I understand that people think they are being consoling and they don’t know what else to say. For those people, I smile at and I know their heart. But for others, they truly want you to move on; to get over it. Why?
Unfortunately in today’s world, mourning times are all but ignored. You’re allowed to deeply grieve for only a short time and then most people are ready for you to move on; to get over it, get passed it. Up until about midway thru the last century, mourning periods were actually observed by family and friends. For widows, widowers and those that lost a parent, the actual mourning period was 1-2 years. This was the time that the family traditionally wore dark clothing and didn’t participate in many social functions. A time when family and friends recognized they were grieving. They did things for them all during this time period and longer if needed.
Did this mean that at the end of the 1-2 year mourning time that all of their grieving and their heart ache stopped? Certainly not. It was a time to reflect on what they lost and begin to adjust to their new life with the help of family and friends. Did that mean they were ready to date again or to skip merrily down the road? No, it just meant that the deepest part of the mourning period was over. They still grieved.
But in today’s world we are in such a rush to hurry everyone through the process. I’m not even sure I like that word; process. It just doesn’t fit. Women seem to line up at the death of another man’s wife eager for their chance. Well meaning friends tell you it’s time to move on. I don’t want to go back to the days of wearing heavy black clothing; but I do think recognizing and respecting this time period is long over due.
I’m fortunate that I have really good friends and a great church that respects and honors this tradition. I am blessed! But there are a few that I’ve ran into along the way that just don’t get it. A year later, it still hurts just as bad as the first day. I still want to cry myself to sleep at night. Does this mean that I’m not moving on ? I just means that I miss my mom. I will miss her until I get to see her again.
Am I adjusting to my new life? Yes, but slowly and at my pace, not yours. So don’t tell me to get over it. I will never get over my mother’s death. I will never get over the fact that she is no longer here. Yes, I’m am joyful beyond words that she is rejoicing in heaven! But, my heart that is on earth aches. God has given me peace and the strength I need for my family and to do and make decisions that I never dreamed I would have to make.
I think the best thing that anyone has said to me was, “You never get over it, you just learn to adapt and adjust to your new life with the knowledge and hope that you will see them in heaven again.”
Psalm 23:4 (King James Version)
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Psalm 31:7 (New International Version, ©2011)
I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul.
Psalm 34:18 (New International Version, ©2011)
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.