Grief is something we will all experience at some point in our lives, assuming we live long enough. Grief is a natural emotion that comes about due to a significant loss. We normally use the term grief for the loss of a loved one. But, we can grieve the loss of a relationship, a job, our health, or a pet.
Grief can be debilitating. If we don’t know what to expect or how to deal with the flood of emotions, grief can stop us from living our best lives temporarily or even permanently. When the loss is an expected loss, say of an elderly grandparent due to illness, we can usually cope with the grief on our own. It’s the natural order of things, it’s expected. When the loss is an out-of-turn loss such as the loss of a child or an accident, we can be thrown into complicated grief which might require that we get some help. That help is mainly a listening, understanding ear and possibly some coping techniques.
I believe the best way through grief is by facing the reality square on. Traditional grief counseling tells us to give up on the relationship we had. Our loved one is gone, never to be seen again. Get over it. My approach is the continuing bonds approach. Our loved ones are still with us, although in an unseen dimension that is difficult for most of us to detect. We can and should continue our relationship with them. And, they will be waiting for us when it’s our time to transition.
How are you coping with your grief?
Planted, Not Buried
Planted, not buried. What does that mean? When you’re in the early days of grief, you will feel like your world has just ended. I remember driving with my wife, a few days after Shayna had passed. “How is the world going on? Why are people still going to the movies and out to dinner? Don’t they know?’
As hard as it is to believe, you can get through this. And, even harder to believe is you can learn to not only survive but to thrive. You can develop a deeper faith, more empathy, and more resilience. With the right approach, the thing that you thought would destroy will make you an even tougher warrior.