Grief: You must experience your grief completely (9)

You Must Experience your Grief Completely (9)

Many might say that they don’t want to do this as it is too painful.  You are right…it is painful.  However, to get through the grieving process you must experience the emotions and feelings that come with it.  If you hold them down they will still come out in some way over time.

Although we have many excuses so as not to go through the grieving process because it can be painful that is exactly what is needed to get over the pain.  The pain can feel unbearable at times but this can actually be a good thing for it means that you are working through it.  Some people just want to get off the ride and hide their feelings, suppress them, and then they have people who tell them to “get over it”.  Don’t listen to them.  Listen to your mind, heart, and body.   Then there are those that feel that if they deal with their grief over time somehow they are not trusting God enough to get through it.  God said there is a time for grief.  Take the time and use it. 

Who can tell anyone that they have grieved long enough? Are the God?  What one person feels can be totally 100 percent than another person.  Then what if we act weird and do something weird are we crazy or something? NO!  You really have to go through the process and do what it takes to get you free from all the pain…then….you go on.

Of course we don’t want pain.  We don’t want to go on in pain.  No one does.  We want to get through this pain.  Then the guilt trip….why should I feel better…my loved one is dead.  There will be days you go through and maybe not even think about your loved one, and there will be days for a time that you feel your crumbling under the weight of the pain. It is okay.  Feel what your heart, mind, and body tell you today to feel.  If we allow our self to grieve through the entire process…we get our balance back at some point.

Okay, let us talk about people for a moment.  People can be really mean and unthinking.  They say and do things that are just not proper and right and they don’t want to see our grief, after all, it is our grief and not theirs.  Be the shoe on the other foot they would feel pretty much like you do.  But in our society they just want it to stop and go away, and they don’t want you to bother them with your pain. 

There are those in society that act like grief makes you weak and you should just toughen up somehow because you are cutting into their life with your grief and no way do they want to hear what you are going through or care.  The thing is that if we lose a loved one we need to grieve no matter what others might think or say, and believe me, they can come up with some doozies and hurtful comments.

A funeral is personal.  What is said and done at one is personal…that is unless someone has no idea what they should say or do (which is most of us because we just are not prepared for it while under duress).  Funerals are not a fun place to go because it means someone we cared about is no longer here, and because we just might have to say something to someone when we really don’t know what to say.  Maybe we loved the person still living and didn’t care at all for the one who died.  What do you say then? 

Grief isn’t easy.  Not for the person going through it, and not for those that want to help but have no idea what to do or say. For society, as a whole, they want us just to get on and not involve them.  People say many negative things out there without even thinking or caring, at times, that the things they say actually hurt people. 

How many times have you attended a funeral that was like a major ritual…no feelings just ritual? Then there are some that seem to go on forever, or ones that you wonder what in the world happened because they lasted just a few moments.  Then some people have no funerals because they don’t want to put their families through it all.  Maybe the family just gets together and talks about their loved one remembering them that way.  That is fine too. 

I have come to the conclusion with those I have talked to and listened to over the years that the ones that didn’t go through the process of their grief…it came out in other ways such as severe anxiety, depression, and anger even years later because it was not dealt with  when it happened.  This does not mean that it is easy to deal with at any time, but when we suppress our pain it will come out someday and then we won’t even realize it was caused by what happened long ago.  I know this to be a complete fact in my own life as well.  If we suppress our pain and put it off…it is a dangerous thing, in my opinion.

It is much healthier to grieve after the loss and return to the living for yourself than try to subdue it somehow thinking it is okay and will just go away.  How we go about our grief process is personal.  Some need others around all the time, some deal better being by themselves.  But if by yourself let someone know that it is okay or they will worry that you are all by yourself and they might think you need them around and just won’t let them.  They want to help so just be honest with them and tell them that right now for a time you need to be alone to deal with things.  Grief differs from person to person, but all of us have to deal with certain things the same.

Some people cry and cry, some never cry and it might seem they didn’t care.  They did!  How we express our grief is not as important as if we express our grief.  After some time (and it differs for each person) we will wake up some day and find that the we are free to go on with our life.  This, again, doesn’t mean that we don’t care any longer or have days we don’t do so well..but they will get further and further apart.  Sometimes we can go quite a while without crying and then the dam will burst and we will cry and cry. This is also normal and okay.

I have found in all my studies and talking to people, and my own experiences that the absolute best statement anyone could give to me was just a simple, “I am sorry for your loss”.  Nothing more.  Just to know that they cared and said that made things a lot better.  It wasn’t awkward for them or me, and others have told me the same thing. 

There will be days you want and need to those you love around you to get what your body needs, and there are days that you just need to get quiet and be with God and trust Him to help you through.  Many families want to help you get through things, but by the number of letters over the years I have gotten, many families just don’t seem to care about your pain.  Maybe to help someone shows them how vulnerable and close to death they might be themselves.

Ask of others what you feel you need and many might help you.  Some won’t help anyone so don’t take it personal.  We can’t make others care or do, we can only in this time do what we have to do to get through the storms of grief. 

You just might not know what you want or need.  Some days nothing anyone does or says will make you feel better.  On those days give yourself permission to grieve.  Maybe there is one person that makes you feel comfortable and doesn’t judge or say hurtful things.  Maybe just ask them to hang out and watch a movie with you and just sit there.  Nothing really needs said.  Sometimes people want to talk to us but fear that whatever they say might make us feel worse.  Sometimes the one that we feel comfortable around/no matter who it might be…can say and do nothing at the time but make us feel like something was lifted from us for a time.  Take advantage of those times.

We don’t have a magic wand to get us through the pain.  We just need to make it through.  Nothing will feel right for a season.  Words won’t always make it better.  We move onward by the grace of God and by the help of those we love that are there for us.  One day we will wake up and the flowers will bloom again around us.  We find our sold ground on the foundation of the Lord Jesus.  I, personally, can’t even imagine going through grief without Him being there.  He is our Rock.  Talk to Him. 

God is like a Bible/Map. You open it and you find where you are right now.  You know where you want to be but to get there…you have valleys, mountain ranges, nice roads, rough roads, maybe a calm river, and then a raging one.  Life is like that.  But you stay focused on the outcome and where you need to get and take your life one day at a time.  Don’t allow others to take away the road way from beneath your feet.  You stand on the solid ground and keep going no matter the weather and you will find the destination when you get there to have taught you many things about life…then use whatever it was and help others on their journey.  Don’t be like the world who keeps their distance and thinks only of themselves.  You share the love with others and know that once at your destination life will return to you and you will make it. 

What is normal when it comes to grief?  It is anything that gets you through it pretty much.

Much more to come as time permits


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