Grief Timeline and Behaviors – Conclusion

Welcome back for the conclusion of the discussion about grief. My hope for you today is that you find peace in your journey.  Yesterday, I spoke about how grief after loss is normal, that we may go on a roller coaster ride of emotions, that we are not alone – others have gone through the grieving process also, and they are available to help us through ours.

And that is a key point right there. Grief recovery is a process. It occurs in stages or waves, and if we can stay present for those changed emotions, we can recover more quickly.

Let’s look at our emotional landscape… when we experience grief, we may be breathless, unable to catch our breath due to the shock and disbelief. We will likely be angry and either target it at someone/something specific, or generally be angry at the world, at God. We may feel guilty, worthless, and depressed, alternated with calm and peace. This is quite normal.

Our release of emotions may include weeping, wailing, sobbing, and we may isolate ourselves. In our physical landscape, we may be experiencing lethargy, physical numbness, aches and pains. Our sleeping and eating patterns may change; we may feel general malaise and fatigue.

All of these things are normal, and we can take the best care of ourselves that we can throughout our changing emotional and physical status.

We may find ourselves getting to a point where we enjoy a portion(s) of our lives and this does not deny our loss and grief. I think the important thing to realize is that we get through grief more quickly if we feel our feelings, if we allow them to surface and be acknowledged. Then, if we get stuck, we can do things to get unstuck. What can we do to get unstuck, you may ask?

First, we can reach out. Reach out to friends, family, to spiritual leaders, to clergy, to teachers, medical community, our personal social circle. Second, we can risk examining our stuck behaviors. This takes courage and we can acknowledge that courage. We can talk to those who are not stuck.

Third, we can make this a year of “yes,” giving ourselves permission to move forward and act. We can take one step, one baby step, and we can live life fully, to the best of our ability. Fourth, we can move, exercise. This produces endorphins, the feel-good chemical in our brain. And fifth, we can write a letter to the person or thing with which we grieve, talking through any unfinished business.

In fact, writing, and especially printing with the non-dominat hand, will bring out emotions more quickly and we can pass through them as we write about them. Throughout the process, we find our purpose and we eventually gain peace with our grief. We find our purpose, and we find acceptance.

What are you grieving about? What do you discover about your feelings, your beliefs, when you write about your grief? How does it feel when you reach acceptance? Have you reached it yet? Leave a comment and let us know how you are coping with your grief.




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