Oxymoronic, isn’t it? Grief never feels good but there are good ways to grieve. This implies that if there are good ways to grieve, there are bad ways to grieve as well. The best way I can explain it is the band-aid analogy. You can do it the fast painful way or you can drag the pain out – possibly for years. While taking off the band-aid has two speeds – fast or slow – the speed of grief is more like slow or slower. Many have hoped that after two or three of those gut-wrenching sobbing sessions that they are all done, they’re over it. In her book, The Worst Loss, Barbara Rosof states that typically grieving lasts for weeks if not months depending on many things – particularly the strength of the relationship. No one wants to grieve. No one wants to feel that pain. Many people go to great extremes to avoid feeling their pain, immersing themselves in drugs, alcohol, work or an endless stream of projects. There is no way around it. The only way through it is to feel your feelings and allow yourself to heal. This is not to imply you will “get over it”. Grief is about learning to live with the loss. Aside from feeling your feelings, Rosof recommends two other critical points: your grief is unique and has its own timeline. Comparing your grief to others will probably only serve to make matters worse. The final point is to get support. Ironically, many people tend to isolate when they need to reach out the most. Caring Connections offers a grief support group. The Sharing Place offers support as well, not only to adults but specialize in helping children to grieve. If you are grieving, please reach out for help.
~Frank Clayton, LPC
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