Grief. I left grief as the last emotion to cover, as feelings of grief are often accompanied by the other key emotions we covered in the course; fear, guilt and anger. Grief, like the others, is a healthy natural emotion that is meant to be felt and processed.
Grief is an emotion felt through loss. There is the obvious loss – the big loss – the loss of a loved one or pet through death. And then there are less obvious triggers of grief; the dissolution of a relationship, changing homes, leaving a career, declining health. All invoking feelings of loss and pain in the heart.
Grief, when not processed leaves us feeling cold and numb. Taking the life right out of our bones. But how to process? As grief felt by one to the other is just as unique as those feeling the pain.
Elizabeth Kubler-Ross gave us the five stages of grief. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. She has gone on to say that not everyone feels each stage, not everyone feels the stages in the order that she’s laid out. That she wasn’t trying to take the mess of grief and place it into tidy boxes, that she was merely highlighting what some feel while experiencing grief so as not to feel so alone.
Time. Many say to others experiencing the loss of a loved one that time will heal. Yes, time will help. It will help to soften the blow, but grief is such a deep-rooted emotion that comes with so much love, that the idea is not to be free of grief. That time will not completely heal your wounds. Time will help you to process, but that you will be changed by the grief, you will carry it as a small reminder of your big heart as you carry yourself through life.
We are meant to play an active role through the grieving process. But that this process does not have to look like anything, that there is no specific time-table or schedule for healing. Some of the recommendations to help actively process loss, are to reach out to loved ones for support. To take good care of your own health while healing. To properly nourish your body and soul. To face your feelings. If you’re angry – rage. If you’re sad – cry. If you’re happy – it’s okay to laugh. That there is no cookie cutter way to embrace grief, and to ignore the expectations of others and just feel what you feel.
Grief processed, brings about a lightness of being. Opening space in our heart and lungs to breathe in the fullness of spirit.
This quote by Elizabeth sums up the process beautifully
The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but, you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same, nor would you want to be.
Thanks for taking the time to read