Grief is a five-letter word. There are also five familiar words used to outline a grief journey – denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
There’s not much to it, right? WRONG!
Grief is SO much more than five letters and five words! The five “stages” are really like a scaffolding, providing a very broad guideline of what you might feel along your grief journey. Your grief journey is DEFINITELY not linear and not a “one and done” thing.
Grief is a natural and normal reaction to a loss – any loss. It is a strong, messy and often overwhelming emotion. Everyone grieving is in a “club” they didn’t ask to join and on a journey they don’t want to take.
This grief journey is both individual, like the grief after a loved one has died, AND collective, like the grief we feel from the ongoing residual effects of the pandemic, social unrest, war in Ukraine, mass shootings, weather related losses and more. These collective losses seem to be in our faces every time we turn on the news or social media, making our grief compound on itself.
Grieving is hard work and healing is a verb, not a destination – both things involve action, and neither can be rushed. Grief and healing do not have a timeline, as much as other people might like it to in order to make THEM feel comfortable.
If we don’t deal with the grief, it will deal with us. We have to go THROUGH it, honoring our emotions for each loss we experience. That looks like:
- Celebrating your loved one(s) and the wins you have daily – no matter the size!
- Unplugging from the media around you from time to time.
There can also be smiles, laughter, joy and FUN on our grief journey! Also, know that you’re not alone. I am here to hold space with you on your journey.
You can reach me at 210-757-9428 during business hours or you can email me at Susan.Smith@biobridgeglobal.org.