Grief / Loss
Grief . . .
Just saying the word can evoke feelings of helplessness - for ourselves on a personal level, or on how to interact with or help others who are experiencing it. Grief comes to us for a whole host of reasons. Certainly we experience grief when someone we loved or were very close to has died. But grief comes for many other types of losses: the death of a pet, being fired from a job, the break-up of a committed relationship, the rejection of a friend, an unanticipated move - the list goes on and on. Any loss that is significant to the individual can bring on grief.
It is my personal opinion that we do grieving very poorly in this country. Oftentimes, the mindset is that we need to "get over it" and move on by some specified time limit that seems "appropriate." I disagree!
Below are some healthy grieving tools, mindsets, and behaviors for you to consider:
- Grief does not have a time limit. It takes as long as it takes.
- There are some losses we never get over, we just learn how to live with them.
- Grief needs to be expressed. Crying is a good thing - in front of others as well as alone.
- Healthy grieving is NOT stuffing the emotions. It is important to allow yourself to feel those tough feelings.
- Grieving is a process that unfolds differently for each individual - it is unique to the individual experiencing it.
- If you are grieving the death of someone, don't tiptoe around the elephant in the room. Use the name of the person you are grieving. Talk about him or her. It's a good thing!
- It's okay to not know what to say to someone who is grieving. Just say that rather than try to come up with one of those unhelpful, over used platitudes. (Please don't say, "your loved one is in a better place." It may be true, but it isn't helpful to the grieving person. Trust me on this.)
Oftentimes, we need help in processing our grief. And sometimes we just need to talk about the person we miss so much. Or sometimes we might wonder if our grief over another kind of loss is appropriate. If you are struggling because of a new, or even old, loss, and feel "stuck," help is available. Don't struggle alone. I will meet you where ever you are in your process of grief, to listen and to affirm.