Grief sucks. Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult experiences you’ll have to endure in your life, there is simply no avoiding the heartache and intense feelings of emptiness. However, by learning to understand the stages of grief, you can eventually help yourself come to terms with it and allow your life to move on. To help people make a little sense of their feelings during this troubling time, Twitter user Lauren Herschel shared an analogy she learned from her psychiatrist.

Image credits: LaurenHerschel

Image credits: LaurenHerschel

Lauren found the analogy, told to her by her doctor to help dealing with grief after the loss of her mother, very helpful in understanding why grief never truly goes away. Because there can be various triggers, like a favorite old song or a certain smell or taste, that can bring memories flooding back as the ball strikes that button once again.

Image credits: LaurenHerschel

“I think we absolutely need to talk about grief and death more,” Lauren told Bored Panda. “It is normal, yet so many people feel like they can’t talk about it, or can only talk about it for a short prescribed period right after someone passes. But grief is a longer journey than that.”

Image credits: LaurenHerschel

“I do believe that it’s good to feel grief even years later. It does help you remember happy times and process how the loss of a family member or a loved one has affected your life. I don’t think it’s something you can wish away at any point.”

Image credits: LaurenHerschel

“I still refer to this analogy example. The 23rd anniversary of my dad passing was Valentine’s Day – old feelings of grief do pop up for sure but now I have a way of making more sense of them, and I also know it’s more normal than I previously thought years ago.”

Image credits: LaurenHerschel

Image credits: LaurenHerschel

Image credits: LaurenHerschel

Image credits: LaurenHerschel

Image credits: LaurenHerschel

Lauren’s thread was shared almost 5000 times as people related to the simple and effective metaphor. As a society, we still have a great deal of difficulty talking about death and grief, they provoke feelings that are not easy to articulate. The conversation that Lauren has started may go some way toward helping people to open up about their feelings, to become more comfortable with the burden of their grief and feel no pressure to “get over it,” as some people might thoughtlessly suggest. “The reaction to the tweets has been surprising,” she told us. “It kind of comes and goes in waves of people seeing it – which is great. I think it’s one of those things we find when we really need it.”

Image credits: LaurenHerschel

People thanked her for sharing this analogy:

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