Grief & Healing
Each of us, regardless of our station in life, experience times of great sorrow and loss. Each of us deals with those losses in our own way. Some are easier to deal with than others, but each of these transitions change our lives in very definite ways. Some events that come to mind are:
- The death of a parent, child or spouse
- Diagnosis of a chronic or terminal illness
- A serious decline in the health of someone you love
- Moving, death of a pet
- Having to give up a portion of your independence or a significant activity
These losses are a part of life. But, like all loss, these transitions can be painful and grief is a logical response to these transitions. They are interposed around the joyful moments in life and are a part of what it is to have a life well lived. Acceptance of and journeying through these moments and emotions can be difficult, but in the end, there is freedom and peace.
Grieving is a process
Loss is a part of life. Eventually, each of us will suffer a major loss. When we experience that loss, we experience grief. Grief comes in various forms, and everyone experiences it in their own way. This is normal and a natural path. However, grief also has some common traits that everyone experiences at one time or another.
You might have heard of the stages of grief. When someone experiences a major loss, they can move through them - shock, numbness, guilt, anger and denial. In my experience, these feelings are fluid and you might not experience them in that order, nor is there a formula for how much time you spend on each stage. When someone is grieving, they might also have physical symptoms of their grief play out in their lives as well. Some of the physical symptoms could include insomnia, lack of appetite, an inability to concentrate, depression or a lack of interest in taking part in favorite activities.
Support systems are important
When you are an independent person, it can be hard to reach out for help and even harder to accept it when it’s offered, especially when you are dealing with pain and grief. However, sometimes the best gift you can give yourself is a circle of supportive, caring friends and relatives. These people can and will provide for you in every way you need. These people are your encouragers and supporters. They might provide meals, or a shoulder to cry on. They might wash your dishes, or they can provide a listening ear over coffee. These people are the ones who can and will walk with you through your grief process, acknowledging your feelings and supporting you through it all.