The Sting of Grief

Grief. What is it? Some say it’s like waves in the ocean, crashing over you, knocking you over, swallowing you up in a blue, dark expanse.

You may have read about those I have lost before. We’ve all lost those precious to us. I’ve had the privilege to be part of a group that supports parents when they’ve lost a baby. I’ve learned that there is no right or wrong way to greive. Some people perhaps grieve too much, some not enough. Others seem to let the grief become part of them.

For me, grief is like a beesting. I know this is hardly a perfect analogy. A be brings sweet honey. A bee pollinates a plant, bringing forth colourful flowers. A bee brings sweetness and colour, much like a loved one both sweetens and brings colour to our lives. The loss of a loved one stings. It stings and stings and stings. The closer to the heart that person was, the more it seems to sting. It stings like no ice, no balm, no soothsaying can ease.

Like the beesting, the pain of losing a loved one fades. At first, it feels like the sting of loss will never subside. It’s excruciating. It feels all encompassing. Over time, the sting eases. Looking at your skin, the mark remains. It remains sore and red. Tender to touch. After a while, you remember the sweetness and colour that little bee brought you, and the pain just subsides – just a little.

After time passes, you forget that initial sting. You forget that pain. On your skin, on your heart, a small mark remains – a permanent reminder etched into the very fibre of your being. The pain is no longer there, but the mark remains forevermore.

Grief isn’t about remembering the pain. Grief hurts at first. It stings. But grief should not own you. It’s not part of your identity. It might shape part of your life, but it shouldn’t become you. The pain of loss should not continually consume.

Grief, for me, is remembering the sweetness and colour that the bee brought – not the sting they left when they were gone…



  1. Natasha O

    This is so interesting bc I have a very good friend who’s lost her mother recently. I suspect she would vehemently disagree with you, but, I’d be interested to see if she’d continue to disagree in a year’s time.

  2. Keri

    Thanks for reading my blog (Between Two Worlds) and especially for liking ‘What I Should Have Said’. Grief is hard and painful but after the initial shock of the loss, grief (if one allows it) can help to take time out of one’s day to remember the person he/she has lost – good memories as well as the more painful memories of the lost.

  3. becauseyoumattertogod

    Love your analogy! I lost my 11 yr old epileptic daughter in 2005. For my “bee sting” I also had the application of baking soda and water, the Holy Spirit, who drew out the poison and the pain of the sting, and sped up the healing process by giving me comfort of heart and peace of mind. I’ll use this analogy, as I counsel, if permitted. Thanks.

  4. Edmund Baffour Awuah

    Thanks for passing by my blog and liking my poem, “IN MY HEAD”. I think grief is a good thing. In fact, it is quite beneficial than happiness. It is the time that you are broken down deep into your soul and your entire being and you see yourself just as you are and how you really feel and not care so much about what anybody thinks. In a world where we have to pretend every single day, people making up appearances to be happy, grief restores you to the true you and how weak and helpless we all are and we appreciate and take more serious how our lives and other peoples lives matter.

  5. suzjones

    The pain subsides but it never leaves. We place a glass ornament at the top of our Christmas tree every year to honour the babies we lost before having a chance to meet them. And memories of those I have loved and lost are always with me.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog.
    ps: Read your first post about winning Bathurst. As long as you were driving a Holden. 😉

  6. Jenn

    Very touching! I am sorry you had to experience grief. I do like your analogy, too, of remembering the sweetness and color the bee brought. So true! Great post!

  7. missie0513

    I really like this, beautifully described – helps me realize I need to remember the beautiful memories of people I have lost rather then think they are gone. Only you can keep the memory alive if you allow yourself to remember who they were and what preciousness they brought to you. Poignant write 🙂

  8. positivagirl

    I described grief as like standing at the edge of the sea. Sometimes I looked out and it was calm sunny, Sun casting light onto the sea. Sometimes a storm came in and the wave crashed over me, engulfing me, it felt so intense I could hardly breath. Then the sea went out and it was calm again.

    I understand about loss of a baby my daughter died at full term a few years ago. So far that is the hardest grief of all. But have always been grateful it came in tidal waves. I believed the Times when it felt calm was when the angels held my grief for me.

  9. J.

    Bee sting is a great analogy. I sometimes look at it as an ice cream headache. But that might be how I deal with grief. One moment I’m okay (or appear to be). and then one memory or recollection triggers a quick, brash and painful emotion that cannot be stopped. And all I can do is let it consume me for that moment and as quickly as it came it just goes away. And I idly wait for the next intense reminder of my love.

  10. Pingback: Silence is the language of friendship | vidinsinbrisbane

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