I don't mean to quote out of context, so please be sure and read the whole post here from the blog "Ferdinand's Gifts ". The whole blog is brilliant, and I am continually drawn to much of what Janis has to say about grief and life after her son died.
The following particularly helped give shape to some of what I've been feeling.
Thank you Janis. Always remembering Ferdinand.
"Please do not be afraid to look upon my grief. It is not contagious. My grief is a part of my life, it will never go away, unless my heart is dead, and I no longer can love. Grief and love are intimately connected. So yes, even though it is not contagious, it may still touch you one day. Actually, it will. You may already have grieved, and mourned, without knowing it. If it had not been in your past, it will be in your future, because you are a living being, who actively participates in life, and therefore you have people, and things that you love, and one day you will lose them, and you will grieve."
"Please do not fear my grief. It is not death. On the contrary, it is throbbing with life. Only the living can grieve, even if they may feel like dying or feel they are dead. Grief is the dance between the dead and the living.
I feel grief, because I have feelings. Grief is a feeling, albeit a big one. Feelings are how we respond and interact with this world and our experiences. They come and go, but they always exist. I am not afraid to feel what I have to feel, because they are all about who I am and what my life is. In meditation we watch feelings come and go. We acknowledge these feelings and honor their place in our lives. Enlightenment is not about having no feelings. It is about embracing these feelings with grace and wisdom. It is appreciating these feelings and feeling compassion for all beings knowing that we will all have these feelings. Sometimes my grief is a small puff of passing cloud. Sometimes it is a light breeze, or a fleeting lightning in the distant horizon. Other times it is a raging storm that will not let up. It had also been a burst of rainbow.
I feel grief, I experience it, but it is not my name. You need not fear me. I am not an inconvenience, although I’ll admit sometimes I do not make for pleasant company. But I’m afraid there will always be times when I would not make for jolly or charming company, even if my son had not died. And the truth is, no one is always perfect company. This is just life, and we are all trying our best."