Grief is a very powerful emotion!
It seems to come in waves.
The first powerful wave tends to knock you off your feet.
It takes a while to get up.
Once you get your feet under you, the next wave can surprise you just as much!
Dog Gone! You thought you had this under control. You thought you were healing and moving forward.
Time heals. However, healing tends to sets the stage for the next layer of grief to demand expression.
As much as you want to be done feeling like dung, you need to grieve when you need to grieve.
Do you see your grieving process somewhere in the list of the stages of grief?
No matter how many days or years have passed, you can likely recognize yourself in there somewhere.
The following article is from an old post here on Heart Failure Solutions, though the content is as old as Grief Itself.
The 7 Stages of Grief:
1.Denial and Isolation
This is actually very normal and expected. The onset of grief causes you to withdraw.
Much like burning yourself, grief makes you pull back.
This process can happen within a few moments, or it can take much longer.
Whether you feel mad at your loved one for leaving you, mad at the world for going on without them, or mad at God for a taking them, anger is a normal part of the grieving process.
It is also normal to blame yourself, even if it is unrealistic and irrational. Perhaps nothing could have been done to alter the circumstance, even so, blaming yourself is not at all unusual.
Your unrealistic and irrational feelings may take a while to work through. Bargaining with God to take away your loss may sound nuts, but within the grieving process, this is also perfectly normal.
When the intense onset of grief begins to subside, a numbness begins to replace overwhelming feelings.
The reality that you will never see your loved one again starts to set in. It is normal to sink into a period of depression as you adjust.
Sharing happy memories can actually be helpful at this stage. Though friends and family may avoid talking about your lost loved one, it might be exactly what you need.
Encouragement to “move on” or “get over it” is NOT helpful at this stage.
Resist the temptation to stuff your feelings to appease others.
Honor your healing process so you can heal.
5. Turning the Corner
There comes a time in your grieving process where your physical symptoms begin to subside. You may even find yourself feeling guilty for hurting less.
Be encouraged. This upward turn is also a natural part of the grieving process.
When you see yourself facing the heart wrenching task of going on without your loved one, you know you are moving into the phase of restructuring your life without them.
As painful as this can be, it is especially important to honor this part of the process. If your loved one lived a distance from you this can be a little more difficult. It is harder to believe they are really gone.
A memorial or just a collection of pictures can help you to put life without them into perspective. Do some journaling if it helps you to process.
7. Acceptance and Hope
When you can remember your loved one with a genuine smile on your face you know that acceptance and hope have begun, and that is a true sign of healing.
(Article originally published in an earlier post here on Heart Failure Solutions)
Happy Memories are medicine!
Truly they are!
You can only hurt as much as you LOVE!
Trust yourself and explore memory lane.
Earlier this week on the Life Breath Club’s weekly meeting we discussed how to make the grieving process easier.
It was an awesome time of sharing and the wisdom shared by our resident adviser, The Zen Dance Master, was hugely valuable and healing for many.
Thanks for all your emails and notes of thanks. It was especially helpful for me as well.
September was the beginning of a very difficult journey for me. My reaction to losing my Father has surprised me in many ways.
What I learned on the call has really helped me to move toward a little more healing. I hope it does that same for you.
If you’d like to hear that call, click on the link below to listen to the recording in the Life Breath Club Members Area.