If you have visited this page today and are suffering from loss and are grieving, I extend my thoughts of loving kindness to you.
At some time or another, all of our lives will be touched by loss in some form or another. Grief is our response to loss, and it can be a very difficult emotion to bear.
We experience grief when we face the death of a loved one,
but we also feel grief when we experience other forms of loss. Loss such as that through; divorce, retrenchment, failing health, watching parents age and decline, the loss of a treasured pet,
loss of a home, financial loss, clearing out clutter,
a friend moving away, loss of personal items, changes in self through accident or aging process, children moving away from home.
Responses to Grief.
The first response that we have to loss is grief. Grief is usually felt in the body. What you feel there may be no words for.
There may be the feeling that there is no air, that you can't breathe properly. There may be feelings of shock or numbness,
disbelief, that it can't be true.
A range of emotions can be present; sadness, anger,
disappointment, frustration, envy, resentment, bitterness, anxiety and confusion. Grief can manifest in the body as;
heart palpitations, chest pain, stomach disturbances, headaches, urinary tract problems, irritable bowel, body aches and pains - just some of the body's messages that it needs our attention.
When we experience a very painful grief, it can appear similar to depression. It may be misunderstood by ourselves, the people who are closest to us in our lives, even by therapists.
"Grief is like the ocean, it comes on waves, ebbing and flowing.
Sometimes it is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming.
All we can do is learn to swim." ~ Vicki Harrison.
Numbing the feelings associated with grief.
People often try to numb the feelings that arise with grief, in ways that may in the long run, cause harm.
The feelings don't go away, they just get buried. There are a wide range of ways that we can numb our feelings; keeping ourselves busy,
drinking too much, over or under eating, working long hours, risk taking activities, watching a lot of tv or dvds,
gambling, shopping, drugs or sex.
None of these numbing techniques help in the long run and can prolong grief. You may have tried to share feelings with friends or family.
However, not everyone is comfortable sitting with feelings, and well meaning friends may tell you not to worry, or to get on with it.
Grieving - feeling your feelings - helping another
In order to move through our grief, we need to be present to, and honour our grieving process.
This means, feeling our feelings whatever they are. We are all unique and our grief is a unique process.
One response to the sadness of loss is crying. Tears are healing and it is OK to cry when we are sad.
Letting our feelings have an expression, giving those feelings a voice, telling our story,
to someone who can sit and listen to the person who is grieving is part of the healing journey.
What is helpful is to have someone who can sit quietly and listen.
Journaling can be a great help, writing about our story, and, we also need someone else to be present to us, and hear our story.
Mindfulness and The Grieving Process