Most of us think of grief like the first graph. We assume that grief gradually decreases as time goes on.
But grief is really more like the second graph. The "peaks" of grief remain as intense, or almost as intense, while the "good times" get longer and the peaks of grief get shorter.
This illustrates something that is so hard for me right now. I feel like so many people just want us to be all better. To be at the bottom of the first graph--where enough time has gone by, so our grief is not as intense. But we will never be all better. The second graph will go on forever.
In the beginning, I described it as two steps forward, one step back. We're in this constant motion of slowly moving forward. But some days (or longer), it's two steps forward, two steps back, over and over again while we just stay in the same place. Sometimes we graduate to three steps forward, but there's always that one step back. I anticipate that in the future, we'll get to ten steps forward, one step back. And so on. Walking in this grief for the rest of our lives, learning how to heal, but never getting all better.