Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Grief and Healing

Helping you cope with loss

For those who have lost a loved one or are trying to help someone cope with a personal loss, sometimes a good book can help a great deal. While a book about grief or bereavement can’t heal the heart in the time it takes to read, it can help to shed some light on the range of emotions that grief can bring long after the funeral.

Even short passages which make the reader think, “Yes, I feel that way,” or “That makes sense,” can help a person dealing with grief to feel a little better. Knowing the stages of grief and being able to identify that what they are experiencing is a “normal” process can provide a measure of comfort to a person struggling with the heartache that a loss can bring.

Overcoming Grief: You can’t go over, under, or around it, you must go through it! Our earliest socialization tells us: Don’t Feel Bad, Be Strong, Don’t Burden Others With Your Feelings. Using just those few incorrect ideas, we develop a default position that suggests we shouldn’t feel bad in the first place.

If we’re taught not to feel bad—when feeling bad is the normal and natural reaction to a grief-producing event—it makes it almost impossible for us to access healthy guidance to go through grief, rather than trying to bypass it by going over, under, or around it.

The first thing we must do if we want to deal with our grief effectively, is to allow our grief to exist by acknowledging it, and by communicating openly about it to people with whom we feel safe.

Overcoming Grief And Then Dealing With Unresolved Grief

Grief is the normal and natural reaction to loss of any kind. The range of reactions and emotions in response to grief-producing events is as wide as there are people on the planet. It is said that “Everyone grieves in their own way and at their own pace.” We agree.

But experiencing grief, even in our own way and at our own pace, is not the only issue. For example, when someone important to us dies, we are always left with some things we wish had been different, better, or more; and with some unrealized hopes, dreams, and expectations about the future.

Those six words:

  • different
  • better
  • more
  • hopes
  • dreams
  • expectations

These are the keywords that can help us discover what was left emotionally incomplete for us as the result of a death, a divorce, or any other loss. We call those unfinished or incomplete things Unresolved Grief.