Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Process Of Grief

Recently a dear friend of mine died quickly and unexpectedly.  It wasn't easy saying good bye to my friend and I'm not even sure I'm at a point where I can say goodbye.  I know it takes time to go through the process of grief, but it doesn't make it any easier knowing this.

Some of these moments of grief reminded me of a time when I lost my own mom.  Although it has been many years now, it still feels like yesterday.  I can picture vividly everything that went on that day leading up to the phone call I received.  It is all as if it happened moments ago.

Just like what happened many years ago, I found myself in utter disbelief and shock.  I was numb to what was going on.  My mind didn't know how to process the grief.  My mind didn't even know how to acknowledge it or think about it.  I remember feeling stunned and shocked and speechless.

Feelings of anger directed towards the person for leaving this world were prevalent.  At the same time, I was ashamed for being angry at the person because it felt wrong.  Yet, the anger was my way of dealing with the overwhelming emotions that I was experiencing.

Through the process of grief that is still unfolding, I had a million emotions from one kind to another that would surface and subside, come on strong and then diminish.  Sometimes this process would continue many times throughout the day and night.

There were times that every little thing would remind me of this person and I would begin to cry.  There were many times that I would remember something and the tears would start or I would just begin to realize they were gone.  None of it is easy to deal with at this time and my heart is heavy as I write these words.

I tend to write when I have things swirling around in my head.  It helps me process.  I think anything you can do to get the myriad of emotions up and out of your body is a good thing.

There is no easy way of dealing with the process of grief.   Each person deals with it differently and some take much longer than others.  No way is right and no way is wrong.

The neural pathways we created with those we love and care about take time to process.  The longer and greater the experience with them, the more processing there is to be done.  It takes time.  It takes time to go in and feel everything our mind and body remembers with that person.

As a good friend of mine told me, feel the pain and loss in the body, but don't hold on to it.  Let it go through your body.  Don't let it get stuck.  While this isn't easy to do, I completely understand what my friend was telling me.

The grief of losing someone is a process that takes time.  No one can help you by telling you to get over it or thinking you should get over it at a time frame they think is acceptable.  It is a process that has to unfold and for each one of us, it is different.  That's okay..   We're alright in whatever happens.

Even with the years that go by, the pain of the loss is still not easy.  There are so many connections to this in life that it touches just about every aspect of my existence.  I recognize that and I honor and cherish it.  If the person didn't mean much to me, I would not be writing about the whole process.

Blog Post And Images (c) 1/23/15 by Don Shetterly

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