Grief is a Journey
Grieving does not just happen at the death of a loved one. It can happen when we lose a pet; a relationship ends; valuables are lost or stolen; circumstances change; a job disappears; a teen goes to college; and when family and friends moves away. Transitions can trigger grief. The deeper our attachment to the person, pet or situation, the stronger our grief will be. If you love deeply, you will likely grieve deeply.
Grieving is a journey of myriad emotions. At times, we may need to pause and adjust to our loss. We may slip into denial, to allow ourselves to adapt to our new reality. Grief is profoundly personal and unique to us, but it can help to know that when we grieve, we may all waver through feelings of sadness, anger, and depression. We will likely bargain with our situation and slip in and out of acceptance. As we grieve, we have to let ourselves feel without judgment or attempt to match the culture’s perception about our process.
In our quick-fix oriented culture, we believe people should mourn in certain ways and adhere to time frames. We tend to value the idea of moving through loss relatively swiftly, without big emotions or falling apart;as though these are real markers for healthy grief. Without malicious intent, we often shame individuals who are dealing with loss, even when we truly want to help. But we will all be on both sides of this coin at some point in our lifetime: floundering to comfort our loved ones managing loss and dealing with bereavement ourselves. Loss and grief are part of living, so it helps to know that it is natural and healthy to mourn and grieve deeply.
Grief includes feelings of shock, anger, despair, depression, denial and acceptance.
If you are currently grieving, the reality of your loss is all too poignant. Coming to terms with this is a process that takes time, patience and loving self-awareness. It can help to contemplate and discover the meaning of your relationship or the experience you are grieving by exploring questions like:
- What gifts did he/she/it give to you?
- How have you learned through having this person or situation in your life?
- What will you leave behind, that doesn’t serve you?
- What will you treasure as you move forward?
- How can you honor the dignity of your experience?
- Who are you now?
- Who are you willing to become because of this change?
We do not ever fully transcend grief, but we can eventually reconcile and integrate its meaning into our lives. Healing allows us to move into a new relationship with what was lost; with ourselves; with the Divine and with life. As you face your grief, offer compassion to yourself and those who are attempting to lend comfort. Ask for what you need from those capable of giving it. Connect with nature and rituals that give you peace. Take the time and space to process without judgment. Journal, pray, seek counsel, cry, rage, laugh, feel, allow. Connect to the Great Mystery and the Divine. Remember, you are supported by your Divine Helping Spirits. While it may not always appear to be true or obvious, all that you go through is designed to serve your soul’s evolution.
No matter what arises, greet it with your compassion.
As you move through loss, your grief may feel dark and harsh at times but slowly, it will soften. When you greet your loss with your full presence, you welcome its power to transform you. You adapt to the new normal. Whatever you are facing, you are here to survive this loss and integrate its meaning into your life.You are the legacy of its blessings and grace. And above all, love is eternal and that bond thrives beyond all time and space.