Archive for the ‘Dealing with Death’ Category

When we encounter grief as a result of a life situation, how many of us have been given a “road map” so to speak to be able to navigate our way through it effectively?

I ask this question because of having learned about grief over 23 years ago. I was so ill equipped to handle the death of a family’s 17 year old granddaughter who I was very good friends with. What added insult to injury was the fact she had taken her own life. That in itself complicated this new sense of grief that now had become my biggest nemesis.

When initially confronted by a grief experience, we learn quickly that whatever we hold true about being in control of our lives can be instantly shattered. All of these raw emotions begin to overtake us and unless we have been sufficiently been role modeled as to how we express this new pain, unfortunately we have a strong tendency to “act things out.”

When grief first enters our life, pushing it aside, down, away etc. are all options chosen by many, however to let it in and learn from it can become such a gift in a round about way.

Feeling grief emotions can only bring truth, openness and reality to what you are going through. We learn how to bend, realizing we will never break. We discover tears are an opportunity to release built up toxins and we feel better afterwards. We give of our self to others to help support them also in their time of need. Going through this we find folks to share our feelings with to help carry our load. Sharing our concerns for others only helps us to nurture our own self at such a time with what we are experiencing.

Remember–emotions choose us at these sensitive times, we do not choose them. Also–we all have heard about the varied stages of grief which are all possibilities we may encounter. Reality says we are all as different as our fingerprints as we will be in handling our grief. Just know that grief is not constant because if it were it would kill us. There is not a schedule that you and grief are on. When it appears, do your best not to fight it. Let this toxic, poison out and do not let it fester down deep inside.

We are not on any time table to go through grief or there is a norm to measure up against. The time you are going through will help to heal you. Take extra special care of yourself at this time and allow others to help shoulder your load.

When grief enters our life, especially when we have never experienced it before, it has a tendency to control our life. By educating ourselves about this topic will help to create new ways of behaving in life and with others.

Handling grief no matter how much we intellectually understand it, can and will impact us emotionally. The pain we feel and the emotions we display can overtake us in some way. Who would think that in grief, one would forget to drink water and then become dehydrated, landing them in the hospital. Forgetting to stay properly nourished, following a healthy diet, has been a problem and so has been remembering to take medications in a responsible fashion.

When grief falls on our doorstep there is another very significant reaction people have and that is denial. This is the most troublesome part of grief as it signify’s how easy it is to become stuck or frozen in time. As long as you do not acknowledge your grief, you can pretend it didn’t happen. Unfortunately our bodies do not go along with this line of thinking, because internally, where you may not let your thoughts go to, physiologically we can, do and will come down with illnesses. Even when we are not consciously thinking of these things, we unconsciously are very busy processing this event feverishly. As soon as you can begin to admit this has happened, acknowledging the death does not mean you have to accept it. Let this be a process of growth for yourself, as you go through stages, getting to acceptance. That may be in question also, however your grief belongs to YOU.

Take your time to learn all about what grieving is about, so to effectively give you the best chance of handling all aspects of this on the front end. This way you will not have to wait for possibly years down the road, to have it come roaring in and take you by surprise.

Nothing about handling grief says you MUST do this, however, there are as many moving parts to this which requires the line of thinking that it is necessary to look at and consider.

On any level of grief you may be experiencing, please know my heart rides with you. I would sure feel honored to work with you on finding your way through this emotional maze. Please feel free to be in touch.

When one is confronted with a grief situation, more times than not they will have a host of emotions come flooding in. When in conversation they will generally say that, “I just cannot believe they are gone”.

The initial shock of what has taken place can and is that overwhelming. There is so much information to process at the time of the death that we emotionally put up a wall to protect ourselves. We want and need to control what all information we let in. It is paramount to controlling the dosage of suffering we are going to go through.

When a tragic event occurs and the normal stages of grief ensue, denial and/or disbelief is the first one to go through. The first and obvious question people have is “why”? Many people can answer that with their own interpretation of the death however the grief survivor will eventually come to their own conclusion in answering that question.

Repetitious learning can usually be of great significance. Continually asking the why question is a good example of this. It needs to be done and exhausted so as to be able to move on and through other stages without getting stuck. Even though that “why” question is capable of eating you up inside, it needs to be continually asked. As surreal and unbelievable as many grief filled situations can be, people will want to know on their own timetable mind you, what truly happened and what is going on. They will only want and trust very reliable sources be it media, law enforcement, grief counselors or friends/family. Coping during grief is tough enough without adding bogus information to the mix.

In reference to the question about disbelief and does it ever go away? Time and work helps to diminish this however by living through the loss helps you to come to grips with your life without this person now.

Referring to the” wall” people put up helps to give purpose to your disbelief. To feel all of this at once can be extremely detrimental so you take it in incrementally so as to not hurt so much. Shock is a great magic carpet for awhile however when that wears off reality hurts. Yes—by consciously stating, “I know this will not always affect me like this” is helpful, emotionally we never know when a feeling of disbelief will wash over us. It slowly fades but know it is possible to be with you for the rest of your life.