“It isn’t true that everyone should follow one path. Listen to your own truth”. ~ Ram Dass
As I shared with you last week about choices, whether to go it alone or to share is another area of life that we get to decide in every moment. And that is how it is with grieving. For the most part grieving is something that you can only do for yourself, but you don’t have to go through the process all alone. In fact, you shouldn’t attempt to handle grief by yourself. It is very common for newly bereaved people to bounce back and forth between wanting to be alone and wanting to share their sorrow with someone.
Only you can be the judge of what is best for you, when you really need time to yourself or when you need to share your feelings. Keep in mind that opening yourself to others and their support can be one of the most beneficial ways to work through your grief.
So how do you choose what is best? Companionship or solitude, there is no right or wrong. Some people in the early stages of grief feel such fear that being alone can be terrifying. The loss of a life partner brings such silence one feels compelled to surround themselves with others constantly. Others experience the need to go within to sort out their feelings.
It really doesn’t matter where exactly you find yourself. The important thing is to recognize that both scenarios hold their own merit and to realize that you will benefit from both throughout the grief process. During the times that you need and are willing to share yourself with others, it is essential to have a circle of people that you can access to support you in your grief and who are willing to listen to your feelings with no advice, no judgment, no opinions of how you should be feeling.
When loss is raw and its most profound, it is very normal to feel more alone than ever before. These feelings of being isolated and alone can add to the overwhelm we feel in handling all the emotions that come with grief. It is in this place that we need to find the courage to reach out when we are ready to find others who can support you even if only to be there next to you to give you strength.
Wherever you find yourself, going within or sharing, all is okay. You will navigate this area as best you can and quite often you may find yourself seesawing back and forth a long time. I do caution you if you tend to isolate yourself and constantly try to go it alone. This can be a very difficult place to stay and will only lead to making your grieving process much more complicated.
So be gentle with yourself and kind. There are people surrounding you with love and want to help you when you are ready. Give yourself permission to let go and lean on those that care about you the most. Not only will you be helping yourself but you will also be giving those that mean the world to you the gift of allowing them to help when you were your most vulnerable.