GRIEF AND BEREAVEMENT
ON LOSING A LOVED ONE
Grief is an unavoidable part of life that no one willingly chooses to face. Its pain can be beyond words and its grip isolating. The accompanying loneliness may feel almost unbearable and the mental torment can feel relentless. It seems to know no time constraints, no rules and one may feel vulnerable, lost, disconnected and dysfunctional. Many suggest that it feels as if the world continues to revolve without them, as they become a numbed observer of life from the outside. Such is the power of grief, of bereavement and the emotional overwhelm that is brings.Bereavement reflects a loving connection that has been lost, and we mourn this. We mourn the loss of the receiving and giving of love, understanding, friendship and intimacy that was at the heart of a precious relationship. Learning to live with loss and grief can be varied and complex, and involves multiple adaptations on psychological, social, spiritual and physical levels. Grieving is about moving forward without the physical presence of your loved one, while carrying them with you, within. It is a connection of love, a relationship, that cannot be taken away from you and, because of this, carrying them within can bring comfort. Finding a way to continue this bond with your lost loved one has the potential to ease your distress, over time, and lighten the load of your burden.
“When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”
Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
How one grieves the loss of a loved one, and discovering what brings comfort in moments of abject despair, is a uniquely personal process. There is no time limit and no “right way” to grieve. When faced with grief be gentle with yourself, and allow yourself to feel your grief as it washes over you. Resistance will only prolong the natural process of healing.Many suggest that we never fully recover from the death of a loved one, and that we simply learn to live with it. In many ways, I believe this to be true. However, the pain and sorrow will subside, peace will return, and the emptiness will abate.
Bereavement is living, mourning, grieving, until you begin to feel alive again
Mourning occurs in response to the death of a loved and valued being, human or animal, as well as in response to facing the end of one’s own life. In the midst of one’s emotions, of anger, sadness, disbelief and yearning, to name a few, possibilities may begin to emerge. Within these possibilities lies the potential to find acceptance, to bring meaning back into one’s life, and to find purpose and value in living. Bereavement is at the root of ones search for a new way of being in the world, unwanted as this may be, and the beginning of a new normal in ones life.