Everything Will Be Okay, But Nothing Will Be the Same

February 27, 2020
Grief is part of life. However, it's important to know that after grief, life goes on.

It’s hard to accept that nothing will be the same. But things do go back to normal, as hard as that is to believe. Everything will be okay. You’ll feel good again and find pleasure in things that used to make you smile. Although you won’t forget that something’s missing and things are different, it’s important to know that you will feel happy again.

How long does grief last? Although no specific amount of time applies to everyone, older diagnostic manuals (DSM-IV) specified two years to differentiate normal grief from other pathologies. But how can a manual tell you how long to grieve for the loss of a loved one? Grief is personal, and each individual deals with it as best they can.

Can you ever fully recover from grief? I’d love to give a resounding yes, that a day will come and you’ll suddenly see everything different. However, grief takes time, tears, and work. You have to make an effort even when you think you can’t, smile when it seems impossible to, and be courageous. You’ll need courage to keep moving forward and realize that, while nothing will ever be the same, it’ll be okay.

A woman telling her friend that everything will be okay.

How can you help someone who’s grieving?

Here’s the magic word: empathy. Do you really know what it is and how to express it? Sometimes, you don’t need words to be empathetic. It isn’t always helpful to say “I know what you’re going through” because you might not understand the other person’s pain. “You need to be strong” isn’t great either because the person probably is trying to be strong and can’t. What people need, at that moment, is for someone to just be at their side.

You can help by listening and offering to help with concrete things such as shopping, baby-sitting, cleaning their house, and caring for their pets, among others. When people are grieving, they need love and company. They need a hug and a kiss. However, they don’t need someone to tell them to stop crying. They’ve probably already tried but still have tears to shed.

Although everything will be fine, when you’re grieving, you lose sight of that truth. You have to negotiate with an undeniable abyss lined with jagged cliffs that you have to navigate through in order to grow and find order in the chaos.

A woman with her hand on a rainy window.

What are the characteristics of a resilient person?

The mantra of a resilient person is “Everything will be okay, although nothing will be the same”. They believe that they have the resources they need to move forward. If they lack something, they try to work on it and make it a part of who they are. A resilient person lets go of guilt and moves on. They know that guilt is nothing more than an unnecessary burden that weighs them down.

When you’re resilient, you know why you are where you are and how you got there. You remember what you did in the past to cope and you use your past experiences to your advantage. A resilient person gets help from other people without using them. They know how to make the best of the help and support others offer.

A resilient person is brave. They recognize what they can control and what they can’t. They also know they have the power to change their situation. Resilient people believe that everything will turn out okay and that luck is on their side.

Resilient people trust their judgment, resources, and the people who are closest to them. In this regard, they know that it’s worth seeing life in a positive light, even though there’s a risk that they’ll get taken advantage of for their confidence.