Grief Helps Heal Loss Wounds

Grief work helps to heal the wounds left by loss

Grief is always present in our lives.  We need to say goodbye to places, co-workers, relatives, friends and partners. Relationships break down, places are abandoned and life stages come to an end. The grief work begins. However, it will help us heal.

Some experiences can be very painful, but without a doubt the most difficult of them is the death of a loved one. It’s so hard we can’t even see how we could ever get out of the grip of that pain. However, don’t be too demanding of yourself, and don’t be in a hurry to find solutions and answers. There are no written rules about what we should do when we lose an important, close emotional relationship. We as humans need time to heal on an emotional level.  This is one of the main purposes of the grief process.

Where there is suffering, there is sorrow

Some people around us tell us what we should do. As a result, we may take excessive pressure or become confused. They say things like, “Don’t go home,” “It’s best not to go there,” “You have to get rid of the things that belonged to him,” “Don’t torture yourself by looking at photos of him”.

However, you have to make your own decisions. Don’t avoid the moments and situations you feel you have to go through. In the long run, you  will only cause yourself more suffering.  Say and do everything you need to do. Saying what you “shouldn’t” say doesn’t cause as much pain as not saying it. Even if the pain feels overwhelming, make your own decisions.

The death of one person can have a greater impact than the death of other people. For example, when we think death may have been avoidable or we think an individual has suffered if we are not aware of all the details or if a person dies as a result of a long illness. Sometimes it can be about how we received that news. Many people say it’s better for them to be a few days after the news arrives than months. It’s a perfectly normal reaction designed to protect us. The state of shock that occurs in the early stages is the defense mechanism of the mind that protects us from overwhelming pain.

Girl in grief

Facing loss

Sometimes the shock phase at the beginning of our grief process is followed by fear, anxiety, panic, restlessness, anger, and confusion. Our thinking is chaotic and we are unable to focus on anything. We have not yet been able to internalize what has happened. We may even think that this is just a really bad dream. It is true that our minds do not function as usual, but the experience is completely normal. It is called  derealization (detachment from the environment) and depersonalization (detachment from oneself).  It’s the kind of medicine our bodies produce to help us cope with the loss in manageable doses.

These feelings do not mean that you have lost control of your mind or become ill.  Confusion  is part of the experience of loss. Grief is natural, no matter how harmful it may seem. When a person dear to us is no longer with us, the most humane reaction to it is grief. The last feeling we could expect in a situation like this is happiness and joy. Therefore, we should not try to force ourselves to feel joy. Give yourself time and space to experience grief. It’s time to connect with ourselves. We then need sensitivity, care and respect.

So what should be done about the personal belongings of the deceased? Is it best to keep them or throw them away? The question is not whether they should be retained or not. Instead, ask: what should be done to them? The purpose of personal property is to maintain the emotional bond that has been very relevant to us. They help to reconnect with memories, and to experience the existence of some kind of bond with that person.

If the objects help you in expressing your feelings, then they also support the healing journey of grief. However, if sticking to them means that you have not accepted what happened or deny the reality, you will not get ahead. Grief does not mean throwing away goods immediately. Give yourself time. Take the time before you decide what you want to do with them. Don’t let anyone make that decision for you. Even if it does hurt, do it yourself. It will help in the long run.

A woman holding her heart

How long does grief work take?

Don’t punish yourself by thinking that you “should” already be better off. Your time belongs only to you. The worst enemy of grief is that you don’t give yourself time to deal with your feelings. Through each loss we suffer, we learn to see what is really important to us. As we organize our feelings and priorities, we grow. Even if nothing ever returns to its former state, we are developing new ways to overcome difficulties and deal with conflicts.

Grief is a wound that is born as a result of the absence of a human relationship. That absence makes us ask ourselves the purpose of life. That is why every crisis brings us face to face with many issues. We humans are looking for a purpose. The more we strive for it, the farther it seems to flee from us. Meaning is not just a stop along the way of life. It is the way in which we walk our lives through . It also helps us find our way through the process of loss and grief. Do not rush. The only place you need to reach is your own purpose.

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