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Sorrow & Yearning--what are they?


Day 25: Sorrow and Yearning: They are Different


We ache for words to fit our experiences. And we also ache for our experiences to be understood in simple terms, especially when our capacity is already so limited. And yet our language has still not evolved enough to simply encapsulate grief in a matter of a few words. Rather, it takes paragraphs, imagery, metaphors, novels, memoirs, and poetry anthologies to even begin to touch this ache for our grief to be seen and witnessed in word form.


With that said, I still attempt to figure out what words fit and what words don’t. Having people feel these words out doesn’t solve their grief, however it can provide a way to continue to be an observer of our own experience and to be in relationship with the grief, each of which will help grief evolve and change.


Yearning is that visceral ache for your person, for your former life, for how things could have been. Yearning in bereavement tends to be very acute for more sustained periods in the beginning. I do not actually believe yearning ever ceases. I do believe that the acuity of it, as well as the sustained nature shifts—perhaps towards something more akin to nostalgia.


Sorrow, or the deep sadness, tends to follow the experience of yearning. Sorrow is the balm for the visceral ache of yearning, which allows these aches to evolve one day into a softer version of yearning, perhaps best described as nostalgia.


Find the words, the images, the poems, and the paragraphs that fit for you. And throw out the ones that don’t. This is your experience. This belongs to you.


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