“You give yourself permission to grieve by recognizing the need for grieving. Grieving is the natural way of working through the loss of a love. Grieving is neither weakness nor absence of faith. Grieving is as natural as crying when you are hurt, sleeping when you are tired or sneezing when your nose itches. It is nature’s way of healing a broken heart.” —Doug Manning
When your heart breaks and loss is so profound, it is hard to imagine that anything will ever feel normal again.
This is grief.
When someone you love has left or has been taken from you, life continues but your life will never be the same.
This is grief.
When your world is so upside down and emotions of sadness, overwhelm, devastation, sorrow, anger, depression are surrounding you, it is too difficult to think that joy, love and happiness will ever come again.
This is grief.
And grief is hard work. I say work because when grief happens, its grip is so tight around you that the only way you will ever have relief is to face your grief and use some tools that can break that strong hold that has enveloped you.
And this will take some action on your part. Below are three ways to begin the work of grief:
- Your very first step is to give yourself permission to grieve. Grief will not go away by itself. The feelings that you experience with grief can be foreign and all consuming that every aspect of your life is now affected in ways you don’t even realize. You will have to allow yourself the time and space to deal with your loss.
- Educating yourself about grief is important. Not knowing can be very scary when we don’t understand what is happening to us. Realizing that grief is temporary and that the depth of pain that you are in can make you feel like you will stay in this downhill spiral and never come out of it. By researching all you can about grief you will come to understand that grief is a very normal process. How long you grieve will be as individual as you are. You cannot compare one person to another in how long it will take to grieve. Understanding what is happening to you will not lessen the pain but it will lead you to the realization that one day you will be able to manage your pain which will also mean that the pain will eventually have less power over you.
Take the time to work through your grief. Grief can be so frightening because for many of us, we believe that if we allow ourselves to really feel the pain that we keep inside that we will explode, go crazy, or get so overwhelmed that the pain will paralyze us and keep us stuck. Taking the time to work through your grief can be as simple as setting aside a few minutes each day to sit with your pain. Designate a special spot and set a timer for 10 or 15 minutes and think about your loss. The pain will come and for those few minutes let the emotions out. When the timer goes off, that is enough. You’ve done some work on your grief that day and for those few minutes you will have released some of your pain. Small doable steps to work on your grief and something that can be done daily.
There is much to do with grief work but the ways that I’ve listed above is just your starting point. Giving yourself permission to grieve, educating yourself and taking the time to face your grief are the first steps to managing your grief going forward. The more you know about what this process is all about, the easier you can get through it but it does take work and the choice you make to do this work will make all the difference in the world in how fast or slow you move forward.
We can’t escape pain but we can choose to take some action to lessen our pain when it happens. Grief is a normal process that we all must face at one time or another. It is manageable once we understand it. You are worth every effort and deserve to move through grief when it overtakes your world and find joy again.