Usually when we think of grief we think of the loss of a loved one. And yet grief and loss can be about so much more.
As one client said “I’ve lost my sister so many times and in so many ways” And yet her sister was still very much alive.
Loss is painful. There is no way around that. And if you are living life there is no way you won’t experience loss; whether it is the loss of a loved one, a pet, a marriage or even the loss of a dream. We all experience loss.
And that can leave you struggling now.
Much has been written about the stages of grief and loss. Frequently they are identified as:
- Shock, denial, and numbing
- Pain and guilt
- Anger and bargaining
- Depression and loneliness
- The upward turn
- Reconstruction and working through
- Acceptance and hope
And while it can be helpful to be aware of the stages of grief and loss, there is still the painful experience of moving them.
Often we want to avoid the pain. Sometimes we numb it through alcohol and drugs. Unfortunately that only buries it, leaving you vulnerable to have it emerge later, sometimes much later.
Or it leaves you cutoff from the emotional fullness of your life now. It becomes important to know how to comfort your body and soothe your soul.
“I didn’t want to grieve the loss of not being able to have a child. I thought if I grieved it that would make it real. Instead I just drank and sank into a depression. But it was real. It was a difficult journey to move through that pain. I will always be sad that I couldn’t have children. But at least I can move forward in my life without that unbearable pain.”
The only way out is to go through it.
That said, there are easier ways through it and you don’t have to move through it alone.