Our Grief JOURNEY
Working through the grief of losing a loved one is different for each of us, and yet there are certain elements of the journey that are common to all of us. Here are some common signposts or markers that might help.
Journey at your own pace. There is no correct timetable for working through grief. Each person's journey is unique, and even those within the same family may progress at a different pace. Going too fast or too slow can cause problems. Find the pace and rhythm that works for you and understand it might change from day to day.
Openly acknowledge your loss. The reality of your loved one not being with you may hit all at once or come in small doses day-by-day. Whatever your experience, it is important to be honest about your loss. To ignore or deny it only makes the journey more difficult, perhaps even causing more struggles down the road. To work through grief, we must acknowledge the death.
Unpack the emotions you may be experiencing. The variety of emotions that come with grief can feel like a roller coaster with unexpected twists and turns or an ocean wave that knocks us off our feet leaving us dazed and disoriented. Ignoring these feelings won't make them go away. We cannot control when they come, but we can choose what to do with them. Identify them and sort through them one at a time.
Remember your loved one in special ways. This tends to occur naturally on birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, or special events, but it can happen any time you choose. Be intentional and creative with different ways to remember your loved one and do this as often as you would like. Invite others to join you as this is an important part of our journey through grief.
Nurture life-giving relationships and activities. It is important to stay connected and involved with those people and activities that keep you going. The urge to withdraw from life or isolate yourself is not uncommon after the loss of a loved one. Some time alone can be an important part of the grief journey, but it's important to stay connected with those people or activities that encourage you to keep living life.
Explore your purpose or meaning for life. The loved one who is gone might have been a big part of your purpose in life or shared in activities that gave your life meaning. Your sense of purpose or meaning might not change but take time to explore it all and make the necessary adjustments. A strong sense of purpose in life is vital as you journey through grief.
Yield to sharing your journey with others. Allowing others to be a supporter or asking someone for help is not a sign of weakness. We were never intended to navigate life on our own, especially the difficult portions involving grief. Have the courage to receive support from others.
Having others around you who are understanding and supportive is essential. We hope you have such people in your life. But if you don't, please know we are here to share the journey with you.