Grief is one of those topics many people shy away from. Why, you might ask? Well, our grief will often make others uncomfortable. What many people fail to realize is that grief is not only normal, but it is the natural reaction we have to the loss of any kind.
As I have coached and counseled people over the years, I invite them to experience their grief and recognize, they will be able to notice some observable growth in themselves through the process.
Think about it, if the caterpillar didn't struggle to get out of the cocoon (I think it's actually called a chrysalis), it would not develop into a healthy butterfly. Helping that butterfly emerge from it will get it out quicker, however, it will literally cause it to be crippled and unable to fly.
Butterflies are like snowflakes, each one is unique. Although some of their patterns look similar, they are not. Each one was created through their own individual metamorphosis and struggle emerging from the cocoon. Their struggle is part of what creates their beauty and gives them the ability to fly.
In a similar ways, we experience some transformation in our grieving. Each of our grief is specific and unique to us. While we may walk through similar circumstances our outcomes will never be identical.
I have been in recovery from addiction for 28 years. Initially, I could not explain the feeling I had at the beginning of my recovery process; I felt surrounded with sadness and was often times in a low mood. My mentor pointed out I was grieving. Finally, It made sense!! I, like many of you, associated grieving with death but I had just went through a lot of losses. I was grieving the loss of my unhealthy relationships, fast lifestyle, old "people, places & things", as well as my drug of choice, just to name a few.
The pain of my grief was a platform for my new lifestyle. I began to see the need to recognize what was grief in my life and then with some good support, what action was I going to take to address it. Because of a few wonderful people my Higher Power placed in my life, I was able to experience some tremendous growth through my grief.
Grief I have felt over the years has ALWAYS left me with scars, yet I ALWAYS had some growth spurts too!! So will you!!
Here are some closing thoughts for you:
Emotions are okay! Don't hide how you are feeling and/or thinking.
Don't worry about making others uncomfortable.
Find a Safe Sounding Board (Grievers need to and want to be heard)
Look for areas where you are growing in your grieving (they are there!!)
Seek out a professional counselor or coach (many of us may need to)
Breathe and practice SELF-CARE!