At some point in our lives everyone will experience the pain of grief. It could be the loss of a family member, a spouse, a friend, or a pet. It can come in a form of loss that is not death but still experiences the heaviness of grief. The loss of a job, the loss of a home, the loss of a relationship, a change in a life cycle or a recent illness or diagnosis. There are so many ways that we experience grief in our own lives and with empathy we can feel it for others we love. We can even feel it for strangers after hearing their story of loss. Grief is defined as deep sorrow, especially that caused by someone’s death. Quite simply grief is the pain associated with a profound loss. Grief can be heartbreaking and sometimes hard to move through. As much as we may want to avoid or delay this experience, each of us will be touched by grief in our life. It is the one shared experience we all participate in. So how can we process the pain of grief? How can we navigate through the heaviness? What steps can we take to ease the pain of our grief journey.
The one thing to know is that everyone’s experience with grief is different and yet the same. All experience a profound loss yet how we respond to that loss is unique. There is no one right or wrong way to deal with grief. There is no one universal format that is right for everyone. First know that your grief is unique to you. The loss is unique to you as it is to others. The death of one person can affect so many people in their life and in so many different ways. It all depends on the relationships we established with them. How close were we? What did that person mean to us? What did we receive, give or share with them? It is important to honor the loss of the love and energy connection with that person or situation that has been lost. How do we fill that hole that a person or situation provided for us? Will we ever feel whole again after that loss? How does the loss change us and how we move forward? All of these questions show why grief is so unique to each individual.
I have worked with many clients dealing with grief and loss. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming just trying to hold that space and love for them. It is hard to feel the pain and not be able to resolve it with loving words. I struggled even with the idea of writing an article about grief. Thinking what is the best way to deal with it? What is that perfect advice to give? And honestly there is none. The most we can offer is love. Give someone or ourselves the space, time and respect to process the grief. To move through it the way that is needed for each person. To not judge or give advice, simply listen and love. The goal is not to heal the grief but to move through it. Lightening the pain as you move through each new experience after a loss. Discovering new insights about yourself, the other person or situation that is now gone from your life. There are so many different layers of grief that each person can experience. Traumatic situations can cause so much confusion and shatter a reality. Losses we know are coming may be done with more ease but still there are layers of pain to move through.
When we experience such a loss it changes our reality. It will never be the same again. We will never be able to go back to what once was. It can feel unfair and cruel. It forces us to adjust and find a way to cope with the new reality coming ahead of us. It can feel exhausting, overwhelming, isolating and sometimes impossible. And yet so many people find the strength to keep moving through. To keep living each day discovering a new way to move through the grief. Be loving with yourself and others as you experience any grief or loss in your life. Know that no one has the right answers or statements to give. Do not expect them from yourself or others. Give yourself as much love and compassion as you can while you’re taking each step forward in your new reality.
Grief is one of the hardest emotions to navigate through in life. Just by acknowledging that can help lift some of the weight and pressure we put on ourselves. No one is perfect at how they deal with grief. No one has all the answers. Each experience is different. Each day can feel different with new perspectives. Allow yourself the compassion to experience each day the way you need to. Try to find ways to give yourself love and receive it from others. Find new ways to receive, give and share energy in your new reality. Find new places, people or spaces to feel lighter energies. Everyday is a new step in your new reality. Take the time to discover the new you and how the loss and grief has shifted and changed you. Be kind and loving and know that you are doing what is right for you in each moment. Honor your emotions, the ups and downs and knowing that there is no good or bad. Know you have the strength to navigate through the grief and give yourself the love you deserve to receive.