Grief. What a loaded word. It’s a tough concept to grasp at first. It even angers people, at times, because the grieving process is so different from what we are often taught growing up. Why? Because we witness trauma reactions everywhere. Parents and others who are walking around in one trauma reaction after the other often influence how we process our own feelings.
“Death is different,” is most people’s response when I talk about controlling our response to it. While losing a person or animal is difficult, we still get to choose how we grieve.
I want to introduce you to a concept called empowered grieving. Empowered grieving does not mean that we bypass our pain. It doesn’t mean that we don’t cry, yell, scream, and miss the one who has left. As a matter of fact, in order to heal, feeling our pain is necessary. Going through the phases of grief is healthy.
Have you or someone you know ever been completely stuck in grief? This happens when we don’t allow ourselves to feel. We may cry, but we will stop ourselves from feeling deeply. In many cases, no one taught us that it’s safe to fall apart, so we attempt to control our emotions to stay together. Or, we may cry daily but what we really want to do is scream, but screaming isn’t safe so we uncontrollably sob at the drop of a hat inste
ad. We grieve in the way we witnessed others deal with loss, not realizing that everyone grieves differently.
We put our black Labrador, Bailey, down this week and I’m angry. I realized this morning that I need to find a batting cage or rage room this weekend and let it rip. I hate cancer. It’s killed so many people and pets that I love. It pisses me off! So, I’m choosing to get my anger out in a healthy way. I know I need to do this for myself.
Is there grief that you are struggling to process? It doesn’t matter how much time has passed, either. Why? Because loss is loss. If you have pushed down your emotions, you’ll know it by the way you live your life. Are you quick to anger? Do you draw attention to your own suffering during another person’s crisis? Do you find yourself feeling “low” more often than not? These are some of the symptoms of unprocessed grief.
If you want to experience empowered grieving, then do for yourself what you know you must in order to heal. One of my clients traveled to Europe fifteen years after her mother died as a way of honoring her. Another finally ordered a headstone for her estranged brother’s gravesite, and another contacted the husband of her late aunt for closure.
Doing what you need to do for yourself to finally feel complete, and close the door, is empowered grieving. It’s the process to free yourself so that you can live! You deserve to LIVE! Living is NOT about suffering. And those that go before us left because it was their time to go didn’t leave to hurt us, harm us, or impede us - but to free themselves. Now, it’s time to free yourself! Make a commitment today to heal your brokenness. It’s time to reclaim your power!
All my love and support,