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A Dark Hole of Grief

A Dark Hole of Grief

A Dark Hole of Grief by Sofia Wellman

Nothing or no one can save us from the sorrow left behind when a loved one dies. Our connection to that person becomes a link to the emptiness left without them on earth. It feels like we are thrown into a dark hole, with no rope, ladder, or hand to grasp. It reminds me of stories about miners who were accidentally buried alive. The sound of a rescue drill too far away from where they were trapped only added to the fading hope that they would ever see daylight again.

Since our brain cannot recalibrate that much change, our lives feel as if they are spinning out of control. Grief renders our world wrong, unreal, and unrecognizable. Our behavior is not logical or rational, even to us, as we survive the sense of powerlessness created by the impossible task of sorting through so many emotions.

So why would anyone ever tell someone who is grieving, they need to move on; let go; find comfort in knowing the person they loved is out of pain; find God or any of the common suggestions given? The thing is, people are afraid to climb in the hole with us, to keep us company in our pain. They fear they cannot get back out, that our grief will consume them, too. The reality is that we are all going to face pain. It is not an inconvenience or a disruption of life. It is part of our life journey. That realization is our way out of the darkness.

Since no one can tell us how to express love, it is impossible for anyone to tell us how to deal with loss. How we deal with grief becomes a lone, personal journey. But it is not a journey we are alone in taking. Everyone walks with grief because grief is the residue from change. The more significant the loss, the more we are forced to know grief. We all reach a point where we cannot avoid facing it.

What I have come to believe from listening to others share about their experience grieving is that grief is our life-long journey; it is not something we ever leave behind. Escaping our grief is not what heals us. Walking with it by our side is the only way. Eventually, we get used to our world with it there, but it is never gone.

A quote from a woman who responded to a post I have on the Death as Life film Facebook Page is a good description of how we can’t leave grief behind. To do so would be like denying change, loss, love…

“My daughter would be 30 this month, but she passed away 6 years ago. I have a memorial picture card on my car dash that was moved by one of the kids yesterday. It made me upset then I thought, wait, I’ve cried in this car so often looking right at this picture. Maybe it is time to have a new view, a new perspective. Well, at least for the moment I found it in a compartment, and it’s back on the dash. Maybe soon, though, maybe soon.”

A Dark Hole of Grief


Sofia Wellman is a filmmaker, author, and speaker. While she travels the country for her work, her home base is Atlanta. Her most recent creative works are the films, What’s Love Got To Do With It and Death as Life, and the book, If the Shoe Fits, Go Barefoot. You can contact Sofia through her website, sofiawellman.com.

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  1. Belinda Owens says:

    My beautiful 16yr old daughter, Savanna, ended her young life just over a yesr ago in late October. Being a strong self motivated girl since the time she could walk made parenting her easy.. At age 14 everything changed, her 9th grade year was going to start a downward spiral and no matter what we tried, we didn’t find the right psychiatrist or medication in time. No plave to put her for longterm help or no one to help save her. We argued the day she ended her life, so I carry a lot of guilt. I need medication to function.in life now. II have been in the behavioral hospital for suicidal ideation. I never understood my daughter until the day she died. Now I live in torment or hell on earth every day. I have lost friends, no one is willing to come into my darkness. I guess they don’t want to deal with it anymore. Even those that call themselves Christians. I have 2 other daughter’s and a husband I love and need to live for. My love for them does not end my daily grief for Savanna. Sadness is overwhelming and I don’t see an end to my pain. I don’t know how, but I feel if I could help others with mental health or grief, I now know both sides. Be kind to people. The bullies are still there, the abusive boyfriends and divorce. Mental illness can be many things. Severe Depression, panick attacks and anxiety were her diagnosis. We were to see a specialist in brain scanning the morning after she left. Too little, too late. The way the authorities handled her case was a debocal. The counselor she saw.for about a year, every week, twice sometimes, never even sent a card. I miss my daughter everyday, I will always think about her amd love her with my last breath.

  2. Beverly Eyster says:

    This will be the 4th holiday without my beautiful daughter, Kim. We were best friends. So when others at work speak of their daughter and shopping for the Chirstmas Holiday it rips me apart and I leave the room. There are other family members who, yes, cannot understand why I cannot move on. One of these are my daughter in law. She has been slowly convincing my son and granddaughter that I am a bit “crazy” I will admit there are things I do now that I may not have done before…forgetting is one…I just hope that what I have been through never happens to her or anyone else. Losing a child is something that no parent should ever have happen. I continue to go to a support group with others who have lost children of all ages. Kim was 39 with two beautiful young boys who she left me as my gifts from her. My relation ship with my son in law has improved some. We now speak more and I do see my grandsons weekly. I know my daughter is still with me, just not how I wish she were…but in spirit. I continue to live as she did…always kind, loving and giving of herself to help others. She has spread her “seeds” among us all. We miss her and my grief continues.

  3. Dunia says:

    Sofia, I think you have described grief in such way that makes me understand my pain after ten years of my daughter’s passing. She died in a car accident and I have never being able to recover. I have always wonder how other mothers do it but after reading Brenda’s comment I understand that my feelings are normal. There is not right or wrong or a time frame, we just learn to live with that pain and is perfectly normal.

  4. Brenda Weaver says:

    The dark hole of grief sometimes can be so many things. I lost my daughter suddenly on March 15th 2015, then my oldest granddaughter 6 months later in a horrible car accident 2 days after my 50th birthday Oct 14th, 2015. I not only lost a daughter, but had to see my other daughter grieve for the loss of hers. Lost a granddaughter that I was very close to. We also took custody of my daughters 3 son’s from her first marriage. She was remarried and had a little girl and boy. The husband of my daughter will not let us see them or the children see each other. It has been a long rough road. I guess I am not sure what grief is? But if it’s the feeling of over whelming pain, sadness, anger, darkness, helplessness, stuggles of drowning and happiness when it comes at anytime. Just wondering what is okay, what is not. If I am right or wrong. It’s like a big wheel that you spin minute by minute each day to see what and how your day is going to be.

    • Sofia Wellman says:

      Brenda, I am very sorry for your losses. Grief is all of what you described, and it comes upon us at any time. There is no “right” or “wrong” in how we feel it or when we feel it. The feelings can’t go away because we will always feel the loss of those we love that died. I think we learn to walk with grief, but we cannot walk away from it.


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