The Grieving Soul Part II
During a season of loss, it is easy to be swept up in overwhelming and deep pain. Grief is a very difficult emotional experience, and most of us would like to get past grieving as fast as possible. It’s been said often before, that the only way to move past grief is through it. This means that at times we will need to sit in this difficult emotion and not push it aside. We will need to allow space in our thoughts and feelings to let grief settle. It’s not an easy task, but with time, the painful emotion of grief does begin to fade. This means that for us to heal from our grief, we first need to allow ourselves to feel it.
It makes sense that after a significant loss we might be consumed with unrelenting thoughts and feelings about our loss. Especially soon after a loss, our grief will dominate our thoughts and feelings. This is our soul leading us through our grief journey. Sometimes, however, we can become so absorbed in our grief that it becomes just as unhealthy as avoiding grief.
Grief can be similar to taking medication. If you’ve ever had a bacterial infection, you may have received a prescription from your physician for some antibiotics. Usually the prescription directs you to take a certain dose, each day, for a set number of days. The entire prescription is meant to help you get better, but not if you take it all at once. If you take the entire prescription at once, you will wind up being even more ill. At the same time, if you quit taking the antibiotics before the entire prescription has been used, you may still be prone to the bacterial infection. Grief can be a lot like this. The entire experience of grief is meant to help us, but only in doses. If we take on all our grief at once and become consumed by it, we will likely become quite unhealthy. At the same time, if we don’t sit in our grief, we may notice ourselves becoming unhealthy in other areas of our life by avoiding the grief.
This means it is important to sit in our grief in doses when possible. This looks like giving ourselves times to feel the pain, and then making sure that we take breaks from our grief too. After a loss, the feeling of grief will probably never be very far away. In fact, it might seem impossible after a significant loss to do grieving in doses. Grieving in doses does not mean that you will stop the feeling of grief. Grieving in doses means to try and shift your focus, even though the feeling of grief might still be present.
Allow yourself to spend time focusing on your grief, on your loss, and on your pain. After a time, try and direct your focus on things not directly related to the loss. This might simply be continuing on with your usual routine as much as possible, while feelings of grief are still present. After a loss, there may be a lot of things you don’t feel like doing, and this is okay. When possible, try and move yourself through the motions of grocery shopping, watching a movie, exercising, etc, even if it feels difficult. As your actions take a break from grieving by engaging in usual daily life, your emotions will eventually follow as well.
Remember, our soul knows how to move us through grief, in the same way that our bodies know how to heal from physical wounds. As our physical bodies needs medication in doses, our soul needs to experience grief in doses too. Soon after a loss, our soul will probably need larger doses of grief, where our attention and actions are centred almost entirely around our grief. Gradually, we will need smaller doses as we learn to move ourselves and our attention onto other aspects of life.
Grieving is a painful process and takes time. Exploring and moving through grief is frightening and overwhelming sometimes. I believe that we were never meant to journey through grief alone. Grief needs to be shared. I would be honoured to walk with you through your grief as we allow your soul to continue healing.