Why Grieve At All?
By Teresa Deck
By Teresa Deck
Grief is a human experience in which one contemplates a loss of something which one deems valuable. And while contemplating the loss we emotionally connect with one’s feelings about the loss. This awareness of and processing of our loss affords one the opportunity for growth in maturity and the ability to accept one’s loss. Without processing the feelings of loss, you might never find the acceptance of the loss and relief from the overwhelming sense of pain.
Grief is universal and is encountered by children and adults alike, no one is spared from the grieving experience. The emotions of loss can range from pain and sadness, love, anger, fear, guilt, and even numbness or denial of the reality. The acceptance of the loss, when one can willingly acknowledge the reality of the loss and be present in one’s life with hope for the future is a gift that is not opened until it is addressed and fully experienced.
Humans will eventually experience the loss of family members, friends, relationships, employment, homes, intellect, health, and connection to others at one time in our lives. We even experience the loss of a world that is “normal” and replace it with one where we feel the need to wear face masks to Thanksgiving family dinners to protect ourselves. This last year, 2020, has impacted our lives in unimaginable and unexpected ways. Unexpected loss can be more difficult than a prepared loss for we humans to comprehend and assimilate.
As we weave our way through the maze of grieving our losses, the surprise factor significantly increases the difficulty of finding our way through this maze of grief. The denial factor is unbelievably greater when ‘one doesn’t know what hit them’ mentality takes over and begins driving the car through the maze. We feel like life is on autopilot and we are not in charge of our own reality. This life is not what I bargained for keeps playing on the tape recorder in our mind. Reality seems to elude our thinking and we can become stuck in the middle of the maze, not knowing which way to turn.
I suggest we show compassion to that unbelieving part of ourselves to show us the way through the maze to the point of acceptance. That part of us is only trying to protect us from the harsh reality of the pain and sadness of the loss. I also suggest that the compassion we extend resembles the tenderness a mother shows to her newborn infant, or the love one feels standing by the bedside of the one who brought you into this life who is about to take their last breathe. Take time to soak in that extended self-love and tell that unbelieving part of you that you know how difficult this is, and there is no rush, take as long as you need to heal. I would lastly suggest that you give that gift of compassion to yourself, and to others who are grieving as well. Remember, loss impacts us all as we are all human and experience grief at different speeds, and in unique ways. Compassion is needed by every human, how will you extend this to yourself today?