How Grieving Helps Heal the Wounds After Loss
Grieving is something that is always present in our lives. We have to say goodbye to places, colleagues, relatives, friends and partners. Relationships are torn apart, places are abandoned, stages are completed. The mourning begins. But grieving helps heal too.
Some of these experiences can be painful, but the death of a loved one is undoubtedly the hardest. These are very difficult times, so much so that you don’t know what to do to get out of that spiral of pain. Don’t be hard on yourself, don’t be in a hurry to find solutions and answers. There are no written rules about what is the right thing to do when you lose an important and intimate bond. As human beings we need time to heal ourselves emotionally. That is precisely one of the main functions of the grieving process.
“If you want to be able to cope with life, you must be willing to accept death.”
Where there is suffering there is grieving
Some people around you will try to help you and tell you what you should do, you may even put too much pressure on yourself or get confused. They may say things like: “Don’t go into your house“; “Best not go back to that place “;” You need to give away his things “;”Don’t torture yourself by looking at photos of him “.
But you have to decide for yourself, don’t avoid moments or situations that you feel you have to live through, because that, in the long run, will cause more suffering. Say and do anything and everything you feel you need to. Saying something you shouldn’t have doesn’t hurt as much as not saying it. Even though the pain is overwhelming, make decisions for yourself.
There are deaths that can generate more impact than others. For example, if you think the death could have been avoided, if you believe that the person has suffered, if you don’t know all the details or if they died after a long illness. Sometimes also it can be the way you received the news. Many people say they feel better during the first few days than after a few months. It is an absolutely normal reaction which is designed to protect you. The initial state of shock is a mental defense that protects us from overwhelming pain.
“Like a sea, around a sun-bathed life, death sings its song without end both day and night.”
– Rabindranath Tagore–
Facing the loss
Sometimes the initial shock in the process of grieving is followed by fear, anguish, panic, agitation, anger, confusion. Your thought life is chaotic, you can’t focus on anything, you still haven’t taken in what has happened and you even imagine that everything has just been a really bad dream.
It’s true that your mind isn’t working normally, but everything you are living is completely normal. It’s what we call: de-realization (disconnecting from your surroundings) and de-personalization (disconnecting from yourself). It’s a type of medicine the body has in order to cope with the suffering in manageable doses.
To feel like this doesn’t mean you are crazy or ill. The bewilderment and confusion are part of the experience of your loss. Grieving is natural, however harmful it may seem. When a loved one is no longer with us the most human reaction is to suffer.
If that important person is not with you, the last thing you’re going to feel is euphoria and joy, and you shouldn’t force yourself to try and feel these things. Give yourself time and allow yourself space to feel the sadness. It’s time to get in touch with yourself and you need to feel sensitivity, care and respect.
And their personal objects? Is it best to keep them or throw them away? The problem is not whether they are kept or not, the question is: what should you do with them? Personal objects have the purpose of helping to keep alive a bond that has been very important to you. They allow you to re-connect with your memories and you can feel that there is still some sort of a relationship there.
If objects help you to express your feelings then they are helping you to keep going on the healing path of grieving. But if hanging on to them is a way of not accepting what has happened or of denying reality then you are not going to be able to move on. It’s not a matter of getting rid of all of them immediately. Take your time. Give yourself time to decide what you would like to do with them. And don’t let anyone do this work for you, even though it will be painful, do it yourself, in the long run it will be a help.
“Death does not steal our loved ones. On the contrary, it keeps them and immortalises them in our memory. But life does steal them many times and for good”
How long will it last?
Don’t punish yourself by thinking that you should feel better already. Your time is yours alone, and the worst enemy of grieving is not allowing yourself time to express your feelings. With each loss that we suffer, we learn what is really important to us. We order our emotions and priorities and we grow as a result. Although nothing may ever be the same, we develop new ways of overcoming difficulties and facing our conflicts.
Grieving is a wound caused by the absence of a relationship. This absence leads us to question ourselves about the meaning of life. That is why each crisis will bring us face to face with many questions. As human beings we seek after meaning, and the more we chase after it, the more it will flee from us.
Meaning is not a stop along the road of life, it is a way of walking through life. And that is why we find the way to carry on through the processes of loss and grieving. Don’t rush, the only place you need to reach is your own destiny
“Even if men cannot make sense out of history, they can at least try to make sense of their own lives”