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Hope Forward: Surviving and Thriving through Emotional Pain: Some thoughts on Grief

Monday, July 2, 2012

Some thoughts on Grief

"Anyone who has ever grieved knows that grieving carries with it a tremendous wear and tear to the body itself, never mind the soul.  Loss is an assault; a certain exhaustion, as strong as the pull of the moon on the tides, needs to be allowed for eventually." ~ Elizabeth Stout in Abide with Me

Lately I've been hearing a lot of loss and grief in my office.  Loss of loved ones, loss of relationships, loss of jobs, health.  Other losses get talked about here too, like the loss of time, of years, of dreams or opportunies. The emotional pain that comes with loss can last a long time.  Since grief is not linear, it can take many routes and affect us in many different ways.  Those who know loss know that there is no one way of grieving. Some losses are more profound than others. Some loss is necessary in order for us to live and move forward.  We grieve loss even when we ourselves have initiated it, or know that it's for the best.

I think that part of living with loss is honoring the depth and scope of our feeling.  Good self care, talking, writing, movement, enveloping yourself with nourishment help us to function when the pain is relentless.  It is hard to see past the pain sometimes, but here in my office I have found that though many losses do not simply or ever disappear, they can change shape, yield meaning and be carried with us in ways that leave us well and resilient, even if we are not sure we want to be.

The loneliness that often comes with loss can leave us feeling like we are at a strange distance from our feelings, ourselves, and everyone else.  But finding a few safe places to touch base, to be understood, and to be heard can go a long way toward easing the worst of things, and bring us to new ways to live and keep going.  New thoughts, new hope and often, a new sense of who we are can emerge. 

We can let go, get swallowed up in the honesty of it, and come back again.  Maybe again and again.  And we can grieve and live.  It's like pushing a truck uphill in the mud sometimes, but it can be done. 

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