I remember that after a rather long period of peace, grief started knocking on my door again and for some time I tried blocking its entrance. I thought that I had grieved enough and that I had "healed", but over time the knock got louder and louder and louder and I couldn't ignore it anymore. I gave in. The grief wasn't as strong as before and the pain I felt wasn't as crushing, but still the need to grieve couldn't be ignored. I wrote a long post about it (Funeral of a Dream) and gave myself permission to cry my eyes out.
As time passed by and new and old feelings came up, I began to realize even more that it's not the destination that counts. Trying to think of when I'm going to "fully heal" is only making me frustrated. Trying to protect myself from possible harm (other people's questions, annoying ass-vice given by random people, etc.) is tricky because it's really unpredictable when I'm going to feel stabbed by something I hear or something I see (although I admit it's handy to try to prepare and remember smart comebacks for the usual questions that people throw at us). What I can tell is that the longer I spend on this road to healing, the less often I experience heart stabbing moments (which in the past would actually make me feel like bleeding profusely inside or feel like I was being punched in the gut).
I find that whenever I try to fight grief from consuming me, it drags my feet instead, making it harder for me to walk further away along my healing journey. It's like all of a sudden I was walking in a swamp. The height of the swamp increased the longer I postpone my grieving process. However, the minute I let go, the minute I let myself drown, even though the process is very unpleasant and tiring, at the end of it it feels like a refreshing, cleansing bath. A catharsis. The weight of the swampy water is no longer dragging me, no longer clinging onto me. I feel cleaner because I have accepted all that is that I'd been feeling inside and let myself be. I stand face-to-face with all those feelings and embrace them and they let go of their grip onto me.
I think this is one of the toughest parts of this journey. Because this journey is wrought with so many layers of loss, sometimes when the grief overlaps due to the many losses we feel at one time, it's so overwhelming that we're afraid of letting ourselves drown in them. So we keep fighting them and that tires us even more, which is not helpful at all. Everyone has different journeys and different pain triggers, different life situations and different challenges. The only thing I can say that helps me whenever I get frustrated because I don't feel like I'm moving forward at all in my journey is this: take it one day at a time. One day at a time...and someday in the far future, when I look back on my journey, it'll be easier to gauge just how far I've come.
P.S. I admit on some days it's harder to follow my own advice LOL!!!