Are you grieving right now? You’re not alone. Many of us are grieving even if we aren’t grieving the loss of a loved one, we’re grieving the loss of what our lives looked like prior to Covid-19. You see, there are many types of grief:
– Loss of identity, through an abusive relationship, your job or career, your social life
– Loss of safety as a result of a trauma of any kind
– Loss of autonomy, perhaps you were living on your own, managing life and lost work
– Loss of dreams for your present and future life
– Loss of a relationship, a romantic partner, a friendship, a colleague
– Loss of a loved one
Grief almost always involves conflicting feelings and a sense of fear. Because many of us are socialized to resolve grief with our intellect, our grief becomes unresolved; this separates us from others, consumes our energy and is essentially an undelivered emotional communication.
To a certain degree, moving through grief is about being heard. God hears and sees our cries. He knows we were not prepared for Covid-19 nor for much of the grief we experience in life.
There is hope, in Matthew 11:28, Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
Have you ever told sometime you’re fine when you’re not? Most of us have. This only distracts us as pain and loneliness persist on the inside. I told myself I was fine for over a year of living in states of lockdown and unable to see loved ones and enjoy until I found myself weeping earlier this month. I had delayed my own grief as I hold space and walk others through theirs. I was unwilling to talk about my negative feelings and focusing only on the positive including holding onto hope. There was a trigger for this relief … I was unable to be with my mother on Mother’s Day; you see, triggers tell us where the pain is and where the healing can reside.
Revelation 21:4 says when we get to heaven, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
The experts have defined seven stages of grief: Shock, Denial, Bargaining, Anger, Depression, Practice, Acceptance. There is no timeline for these stages, which can sometimes make us feel we are on an emotional roller coaster. Some of us are in a state of shock for a long time while many of us experience anger, which is often sadness turned inwards.
We all wish things could be different right now and that’s okay but as long as we believe that someone or something else is responsible, we’re unable to recover. The good news … we are acquiring new skills to help us complete our relationship to pain, disappointment, frustration and heartache. Loss has the ability to transform us and the world is big enough for all of our losses.
David Kessler says there are six vital steps to grief recovery:
1. Become a part of a community where you can safely grieve
2. Witness and mirror the grief, which doesn’t need to define you
3. Honour your connections and your contributions within your community
4. Be your own best friend, kind and compassionate
5. Don’t compare your grief to others, it won’t allow you to tend to your grief
6. Celebrate your wins even if it means you took a shower today
John W James and Russell Friedman in the Grief Recovery Handbook says: recovery from grief means “claiming your circumstances instead of your circumstances claiming your happiness.” Pain is inevitable but long suffering is optional. Whatever you are grieving right now, you aren’t alone; the only way to move through the pain is to allow the grief.