Quote Originally Posted by In the Corn View Post
I think we have a poor definition of grief, and we tend to think that grief only happens after the tragedy.

I take a very different view of grief, and believe that we always come to a time in any relationship (parent, child, spouse, pet, friend) where we start to see some detachment whether it be death or change in circumstance. I think for good mental health, we need to start grieving way before our loved on takes their last breath. I look at "fence posts" or signs of aging or change in relationship and process those, so when the inevitable happens I feel more prepared. That doesn't mean that I don't hurt from those experiences, but I have already processed the lose to some degree.

An Examples:

My dad, who is now 81, had a birthday celebration a few years ago. We were singing Happy Birthday. When we got done, he raised his arms up in celebration, and I noticed he had lost the muscle mass in his arms. My dad was never a hulking muscular man, but you could see that he was aging. I processed that night that my dad's years are limited. Tough to think about, but reality. Just the other day, I was stamping the back of checks for a deposit at work, and it drew me back to being a child and hearing my day pounding away on an ink pad finishing his work. I know at some point, after my dad passes, I will be finishing a deposit, and I will lose it.
This I can relate to, but it seems I prepare for the loss as I grow to be closer to people. It's like --I know I love this person with all my heart, but since loss has been a constant companion over the years, I prepare (think about) their passing prior to it actually happening and how I might react. It's not a constant/often thing, but it happens.

Still I don't think I'll handle any loss of say--my wife or kids, in the same manner I have handled loss in the past, but then again--I might. I won't know until I'm at that door and hopefully--I won't know for quite a while if ever.