Let's talk about grief.

From me to you…

It takes courage to talk about what most people tend to bottle up inside. Talk to someone, whether it be a professional, a minister, friend, neighbor, or relative. Don’t be afraid to wake a loved one at 2 a.m. to talk. Chances are they need you just as much as you need them!

Grief is a process that has plagued human-kind as one of the hardest journeys to make. Yet, it is no respecter of persons. It can hit at anytime to any person: suspecting or unsuspecting. When the unexpected happens, terms and planning aren’t exactly the top priority. However, as in the aftermath of any storm, there is calm, hope, and a call to rebuild.

Holding to reality means realizing what exactly the grieving process entails. Grieving is the process that encompasses a wealth of thoughts and feelings. It entails a lot of different things, simply because no two human beings are the same.  Thankfully, we don’t think the same, look at the world the same, or deal with emotions the same. Therefore, grief is unique in some respects to us all. However, there are a few things that are certain to be expected.

When a loved one dies, we are in bereavement. The actual event hits like a ton of bricks and it takes what seems like an hour just to take a breath.  At this state, a loss has been suffered and a degree of shock is inevitable.  Undoubtedly, this is the time when that one person will offer a warm hand and say, “I understand”. These are never the words. They do not understand, and even though they are making an honest effort to provide solace, the gesture reminds us all to never say that to anyone else.

At this point, no one truly knows how you feel. However, they can offer support, thoughts, and help.  When bereavement yields the outward display that is call mourning, sometimes just being there is gesture enough.  It can be helpful to offer gestures such as food for the family, help writing thank you cards, or providing transportation for the individual.

According to the well-known theorist Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, humans tend to go through five stages of grief. These are seen in denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and then acceptance. In some instances, one or more of these stages is absent or reversed in order. Because this is different for each person, it is wise to consult with another to find a way to relieve some of the pain in a way that is beneficial for you.

Don’t be afraid to seek counseling. Counseling is not for a client to spill secrets and the therapist fix them. Counseling is an interactive process (often with others also going through your circumstances), in which a counselor can give suggestions on how you can learn to deal with and alleviate some of the pain in your life.

From me to you…. It takes courage to talk about what most people tend to bottle up inside.  Talk to someone, whether it be a professional, a minister, friend, neighbor, or relative. Don’t be afraid to wake a loved one at 2 a.m. to talk. Chances are they need you just as much as you need them!