I haven't been able to write a thing for the past week. I have been grieving for my beloved dog, Zazu. After 16 years together, losing him was truly heartbreaking...
Grief and loss are powerful things. Even if you have not yet had to deal with the loss of someone in your own life, we are now all faced with the horrible tragedies that are occurring in the world and we grieve for the families and people that have lost their own loved ones.
There is no roadmap for grief. All of us deal with grief and loss in different ways. I think that is important to remember. There is no "one way" to grieve. I think it helps to know that - especially when you want to support someone who is dealing with a loss. Often, even well-meaning friends and acquaintances have no idea of what to say and often say all the wrong things.
How you grieve depends on your own personality and coping style, your life experience, and the nature of the loss. There is no "normal" or set timetable for grieving. That being said, I thought it might be helpful to share some myths and facts about grief:
The Pain Will Go Away Faster If You Ignore It. The truth is, in order to heal, you need to face it. The only way out, is through...
It's Important To Be "Strong." Sometimes, especially if you are supporting another loved one going through the loss with you, you feel like you have to be the strong one. But strong does not mean putting on a brave front. Crying is not a sign of weakness and you don't "protect" your family or friends by holding it in. Sharing grief is a powerful and healing thing. Hold on to each other and share the pain together. That's how you heal.
Grief Should Only Last About A Year. Oh really?? I lost my father 7 years ago and it might as well have been yesterday. And personally, I don't feel that he is "in a better place" since his "place" was with my mom and me. When you lose someone you love, it is an irreplacable loss. You have to find a new normal. There is no timetable for grief.
I found it helpful to learn the five stages of grief. Though not all of us go through all of the stages, I wanted to share them because it helped me to understand my own process. They are as follows:
Denial: "This can't be happening."
Anger: "Why is this happening?"
Bargaining: "Make this not happen, and in return I will ___________"
Depression: "I'm too overwhelmed and sad to do or feel anything."
Acceptance: "I have to move forward and accept what has happened."
For me, one of the most important things I have learned when going through the trauma of grief and loss is to allow myself to reach out and ask for help and support. Let your friends be there for you. If they don't know what to do, ask them to simply show up. Often people want to support you but just don't know how. But these are the times to lean on the people who care about you.
Until next time,
"Live Now - Live Well!"