The Ebb and Flow of Grief
I recently lost a dear friend. She was loved by so many, and her leaving us has left ripples of sadness running through our lives. A bit like the aftershock of an earthquake.
Grief is a profound human experience that touches us all at some point in our lives. Each person’s journey is a tapestry of emotions, memories, and healing.
Grief can be triggered by many things. Death is the obvious one, but there are other ways that life seemingly derails, or re-routes us, that can lead to grief. Divorce, the ending of a friendship, loss of a job, a lingering illness or not realising a dream one has held dear.
I don’t believe anybody has the answer as to how to deal with grief. What I do have is some thoughts and reflections that I hope might help you to enrich, or validate your own approach.
Some Observations Around Grief:
- Each one of us processes grief in our own unique way. The classic elements that people experience are shock, pain or guilt, denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Many of these will come up, but it is by no means a linear path, and there are always more emotions at play. Respect them, and don’t cling to any single one of them for too long. It takes the time it takes. So give yourself, and others the space to heal.
- Everyone copes differently, and that’s OK. Some may find comfort in sharing their pain, whilst others seek solace by withdrawing.
- If one comes across someone who is grieving, a role we can offer is to be a supportive guide, holding space for the other and a listening ear without judgement of expectations
By embracing the process of grief you can uncover in yourself, and in others, both a tenderness, and an inner strength. Perhaps we weren’t aware these qualities existed in such depth within us.
It is a good reminder, as we go about our day, that we don’t know what is going on in people’s inner lives. They may be irritable, withdrawn, overly bubbly, or seemingly ‘normal’. Let’s offer empathy as we walk alongside those navigating the turbulent seas of life.
With warmest of wishes to you, and for those you love,