Today I saw a post on grief and it made me think of so many people. I thought of my friend’s family who is grieving the loss of a sweet young woman who died too soon. I thought of my clients and friends who are grieving the loss of parents (some from when they were really little kids), loss of children and other family members. I thought of my mom, who is celebrating 52 years of marriage to my dad– but he wasn’t in mass next to her today, he’s in Heaven, as he has been for over 8 years now. I know she misses him so much.
Losing someone we love really hurts. And grief can be a complicated experience. I was so mad at my best friend when she died 19 years ago. I wanted her to talk with me about what was happening, about what I should say to her then 4 year old daughter. But that never happened. I also remember when I got over being mad at her and then began to savor memories of why I loved her so much. I was so grateful when the anger shifted. But before that, all summer long that year, I wanted anyone I encountered to know I was in grief. I understood the black arm bands of years ago, that gave others a visual cue: “This person is in grief- proceed with extreme care and gentleness.”
Transitioning from anger and deep sorrow is a complicated journey. Grief has to be experienced. It can be so hard to tolerate the BIG sadness that comes from losing a loved one. But crying is a part of the healing process. The year my dad died, my husband Mark and I went on vacation to the family mountain cabin. This was my dad’s favorite place on earth. When we arrived there I burst into tears, touching all his things that were still there, sobbing more and more with each item I saw that reminded me of him. Mark kept saying, “Yes, let it out–good– yes, that’s ok– go ahead and cry.” He was so supportive and gave me incredible permission to grieve. Finally, the tears stopped and I was calm. And hungry (I am my father’s daughter, after all).
Sometimes we lose a loved one and we get support like that and our healing begins. Sometimes though, grief gets stuck. We might not be sure we will ever feel ok. I remember feeling like that after our dog died. (Yes, pets can get in our hearts and be as important as any family member.) I didn’t know when I would be able to walk in our neighborhood on the streets that had become our daily routine without immense sadness. It was months before I did.
If you are feeling stuck with your grief, you can try this: tapping. I posted about tapping in my last blog. EFT/Tapping is a way to help process feelings and memories. Negative emotions cause a disruption in our energy system, and tapping helps clear the disruption, so you have emotional freedom. It helps negative feelings soften and dissipate.
I have used EFT/Tapping with my clients who have deep grief. It has helped them process their memories and helped them feel more connected to the people they felt they lost. In fact, it can feel like you find someone again when grief begins healing. What I mean is that you can feel more in touch with your loved one- by feeling their enduring love for you and yours for them. Having experienced that myself, I can tell you it’s priceless.
If you have experienced grief and find that you are stuck with troubling feelings, that heaviness you can’t tolerate whenever the subject comes up, consider coming to see me or using tapping as a way to begin healing. Healing and feeling better doesn’t mean our loved one is less important and feeling happier is not a betrayal of the loss. Getting back in touch with loving feelings and positive memories is a way to be able to live IN your life and be ok again- which is what all our loved ones want for us, I’m sure.
What has helped you heal your grief? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for taking the time to read and share.