Saturday, February 23, 2013
Some Serious Thoughts
In the process of going through all those things I ran across one Christmas letter someone had written several years ago that I would like to share with you. It is on a serious subject, and relates to a previous post here on January 11, "Most Hated Month of the Year". This came from a couple who had been facilitators with "Growing Through Loss" in their community. The following are tidbits from some of the speaker's statements thought to be good, and added, "I hope some of this will be helpful information that you can use someday." So I am using it by sharing with you today.
GRIEF IS: Grief is a feeling -- mourning is what we do, grieving is honoring that which we miss. Grief is slow and hard work, grieving is a healing process, grieving never ends (memories), and grief can help us see more pieces of life. For each family member it's like grieving for someone different because of their relationship to that person. We all grieve differently, even husbands, wives, siblings or children.
SOME NORMAL GRIEF FEELINGS ARE: loneliness, feeling lost, emptiness, hopeless, helpless, forsaken, angry at self, angry at the one who died, angry with God, sadness, pain, anxiety, being overwhelmed, confused, numb, guilty, powerless, and denial.
ROAD BLOCKS TO GRIEF: We don't talk about death, we don't tolerate open expression of grief, we think some losses are more tolerable than others, we think all grief experiences are the same and the last road block -- we don't want to be in pain.
TOOLS THAT ARE HELPFUL: Listen to your feelings, it gives you a place to start. Put grief into words -- show pieces of our souls with others, give sorrow words (silence breaks us), give yourself permission to express your feelings. Write a letter to God, write a letter to the deceased, write stories about the deceased and journal. Reminisce. Talk to the person who died, talk to God, read about grief in the Bible. Remind yourself "It's my grief", find a survivor -- what did they do right or wrong, slow down, listen to music, surround yourself with life, trust people, let other people reflect to you how you are healing. Celebrate being -- not doing. Care about others.
Remember Jesus stands with us in grief, Jesus wept when his friend died. Blessings are 'God things' and they will come through the goodness of others.
I will add here that grief isn't always for someone who died. It comes with the death of a relationship with a friend or family member, a divorce because it is a death of a marriage. It is suffering a loss of anything - home, job, way of life, moving far away from family and friends, and anything else you can name.
I know I went through a grieving process when I got divorced. It is difficult after being married for 25 years. When I got married I expected it to last forever, but it died. It really died many years before the actual separation and finally divorce, so the grieving process lasted a long time. I have done a little grieving recently at the loss of the friendship of a couple who had been close family friends for over 50 years. I still don't know why they pulled away but it hurts.
On the back page of that letter was this, which I will close with:
E Eat well
L Let go of stressors
F Feel your feelings
C Calm your soul & listen to your inner wisdom
A Ask for help
R Rest when you can
E Exercise every day