Grief is a real thing these days and many of us are trying to navigate dealing with the effects. We have lost loved ones, friendships and our freedom in many ways. How do we process all of this?
Sometimes, it can feel so overwhelming that we just want to crawl into a hole and not come out. The problem with that attitude is that what we resist – persists. If we ignore the feelings within us they will not go away. They stay inside our bodies and fester like a wound. If you get a sliver in your finger and don’t get it out, it becomes infected. The same is true with the emotions of grief. Left unattended, it will take over every area of your life until you cannot see or feel anything else.
There are several stages of grief:
Shock and denial. This is a state of disbelief and numbed feelings. With someone’s passing, you can’t believe they’re gone! In the case of friendships ending you are stunned that they said that or did that. And when it comes to our freedom – all the restrictions and seemingly loss of rights bring us to a place of total shock that this is what our world looks like right now.
Pain and guilt. You feel a lot of pain and guilt. “if only I said this or did that”, “I should have ….”
Anger and bargaining. You get angry – at everything. You’re ANGRY! Nothing anyone says or does seems to help you through the anger. You may try to bargain your way through “if this situation will change, I will …”
Depression. You give up. You think “what’s the use”. You give into the overwhelming feelings of loss and change.
The upward turn. You begin to realize things have changed and will not be the same as they were. You realize that that’s ok. You may not like the changes but you come to some kind of understanding that it is what it is.
Reconstruction and working through. This is the stage where you begin to work through the grief. You find different ways of being with and healing the pain and loss. Seeing a little clearer, maybe you make better friends, ones that truly honour you and your choices, and you realize that other people are free to do the same. You remember good times with the loved ones that have passed on.
Acceptance and hope. You come to accept the losses. No more anger, bargaining, or depression. You accept that huge change has happened and in there somewhere there is hope again. Hope for what’s to come. Peace within, new friendships, a better world to live in.
Grief is real and comes to us all at some time in our lives. We are human and none of us are exempt from feeling it. Allowing yourself to feel it all will enable you to process through it sooner.