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The Wednesday of Grief

Updated: Aug 26, 2022

Wednesday. The middle of the week, three days before and three days after.

When we were children in school, Wednesday became the turning point. If we made it until Wednesday, we knew we could survive the remaining two days. Wednesday often felt like the longest day…ever. But when class let out on Friday, freedom. It was the beginning of the long-awaited weekend. Admittedly, most working adults continue the same mindset.

We can apply this same principle to our grief journey. Even though there is no time limit with grief, it doesn’t follow a schedule and it isn’t linear, we may notice phases. These phases are extremely broad and general because each grief journey is so very unique. We can liken our grief journey to a week where Sunday is when the death occurred, Monday and Tuesday are post death phase, Wednesday is the middle, Thursday and Friday symbolize the settling in phase and Saturday is the transformation phase.

The grief journey begins with the death, the Sunday, the beginning that changed the rest of our life. The Monday and Tuesday phase is characterized by all the activities, emotions and changes that happen surrounding the death. The Monday and Tuesday phase is where the many decisions are made, newness invades every aspect of our life, and the death is still very much in the forefront. We are surrounded by friends and family who want to talk about our loved one as much as we do. They listen to our stories and sit with us as we cry. Our emotions and feelings are raw and we wonder if we are actually living a nightmare. The Thursday and Friday phase is where we find ourselves settling into new routines, we are living our lives without our loved ones, we are becoming more familiar with a new normal. Saturday is the time where we have accepted our life as is. We continue to love our loved one, they have become part of our story and because their life was a huge part of our life, we have become a different person. We have taken our experience, the trials and the triumphs, and created a life from the growth. This is a form of transformation.

The Wednesday of grief can be the longest phase of our grief journey. For some it feels like the perpetual Hump Day. It is the phase in the middle and somedays it feels as if it will never end. The Wednesday of grief is the time wrought with conflicting emotions, feelings, plans, and desires. One minute we are going about our day, feeling like we are making progress and the next minute we are a sobbing mess on the living room floor. One day everything we do seems to backfire and the next three days we accomplish a lot and feel pretty good. In this phase we laugh with friends and then feel guilty because we enjoyed the laughter. The newness of the death has worn off and we are thankful but at the same time fearful that we will forget. One week we have an abundance of energy only to have it followed by days of lethargy and depression. We feel lost and confused. We feel organized. We want to try something new but are terrified of going alone. We want someone to ask how we are doing and are saddened when they don’t. We miss our loved one and then are horrified when we realize it has been a couple of days since they were on our mind constantly. The days are long and the nights are longer. Then we realize the sun woke us up instead of the dark silence of the midnight hour. We empty the trash and it is full of tissues. The next time we empty the trash there are only five. We feel the shift and it confuses us. We know we are changing but we don’t want to. The intense longing that we once felt has begun to soften, this saddens us. Life without our loved one doesn’t feel like a staggering loss. The ache in our heart hurts just a little and the agonizing days come less frequently. Memories of our loved one are all around us. They bring comfort and sorrow at the same time. The Wednesdays of grief are full of turmoil and triumph, highs and lows, promise and trepidation.

Feeling stuck in the Wednesday of grief is exhausting and frustrating. But remember, everything changes. When the dark times are upon us, we take them in stride because we know they are followed by lighter days. When we enjoy a bright day, we live each moment in gratitude because the dark days are all too familiar. The perpetual Hump Day flows into the next phase. Each phase blends into the next, they overlap and spiral. One doesn’t end when the next begins, they coincide. We honor our grief, we notice changes, be they ever so subtle as the Wednesday blends into Thursday.


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