Grief – An Analogy

24th February, 2019

I came across a grief analogy the other day, and it really impressed me. Originally given by an unnamed doctor (who obviously was a very wise person), I am sorry I cannot give credit to the original person. I felt that this could really help some of you here in this group.

Grief is like a ball in a box

Grief is like a ball in a box. In the beginning, the ball is so huge in the box that the pain button is continuously pressed, no matter how the ball moves.

It moves on its own, hitting the pain button again and again and again. You have no control over the movement and the pain this causes you.

It just keeps hurting you and very often this pain seems completely unrelenting and unstoppable. It hurts so that every part of you feels the intensity of the pain. This pain is not only emotional, sometimes it is so raw it can physically hurt.

Over time the ball in the box gets smaller and smaller. It hits the pain button less and less as it moves around, but when it does it hurts just as much as the first stage of this ball analogy.

At this stage it is slightly better, because you can now function on a day to day level more easily.

The downside of this is, that the ball hits the pain button randomly, and when you least expect it, taking you by surprise.

For most people this ball never really goes away. It might hit the pain button less and less over time as it shrinks and moves around inside the box. But, it will still hurt when it hits that pain button and can take your breath away with the unexpectedness of that sudden pain.

You have more time to recover and catch your breath between hits at this stage. So it is very different to when the ball filled the space completely, and at this stage is not the focus of your attention anymore. So at those times when it does hit, it can feel like you have been floored briefly.

Be kind to yourself when this happens. Allow yourself that time to grieve, feel that pain, and the memories that come with it. Then breathe and move on.

I am sure that this will help many of you to understand grief and the pain of losing a loved one in a different way.