Grief is something we will all face at some point in our lives, and most likely multiple points in our lives. These moments of grief make up the darkest moments of our lifetimes. When people think of grief, we often associate it with the death of a loved one. While these are often the most painful times of grief, grief arises anytime there is a loss of anything expected or a change of something routine. In other words, the fact that our brains work in patterns, and when there is a change in that pattern, it causes us to mourn that change as we adjust to the new pattern.
Some examples of transitions that may cause grief include:
- Moving to a new city
- Change in jobs or careers
- Becoming a parent
- Caring for an aging family member
- Children moving away from home
- The loss of a loved one
The Loss of a Loved One
When we lose a loved one, we can grieve not only for their death, but also by losing our personal place as a wife, husband, or parent. This can include a variety of other losses often forgotten about as well with changes in finances, housing, jobs, etc. When it comes to the grieving process, it can be beneficial to understand how all of these losses can impact the living family member.
Negative Ways to Handle Grief
Although there are ways to attempt to numb the experience of grief such as:
- Distraction with other relationships
- And a number of other ways
There is no genuine escape from these feelings. That being said, there is a way to get through these feelings.
Getting Through Grief
The solution is simple: GRIEVE.
Let the grief happen.
So many times we can resist letting ourselves grieve. Yet, this stops the true healing from ever taking place.
Sometimes, it is possible to shove it down far enough to keep functioning, but you often will not be able to live to your full potential and may find the grief coming up at unplanned and inconvenient times.
When grief is shoved down, or not dealt with it can lead to:
- Anger outbursts
- Suicidal ideations
- and even physical pains or illnesses
The truth is that when we experience a loss, no matter what that loss may be, our brain is trying to rewire new patterns. This takes time and honesty with ourselves.
Not only that, but we cannot do this alone. We need to allow ourselves to grieve and bring others on the journey as well. Even in the Bible, Paul encourages those he writes to in Romans 12:15 to, “mourn with those who mourn” (NIV).
With all these benefits of being honest with ourselves and allowing ourselves to grieve, the question remains: Why do we resist grief?
In the next blog post I will discuss three of the most common reasons we resist grief and a few tools to combat them.
If you find yourself struggling with grief and wondering where to go please reach out to us and we will schedule you with one of our counselors. We would love to walk together with you through this journey of grief.