From a blog by Thrive Global
Grief is a word that is used interchangeably with bereavement, but grief is not exclusively about the physical death of a person. Grief doesn't fit in a box, either. Some forms of grief take years to work through, other types take a few solid months, some take a single moment of deep acknowledgement. Everyone grieves differently and for different reasons, but one thing remains constant in the process. It's the one thing no one has ever said about grieving: “I did it right on time.”
Grieving is marked by a lag, a delay, a freezing, “Wait. What just happened?”. Grieving is not a linear process. One moment you feel you’ve fully moved past something, the next moment it’s right back in front of your face. That’s because grief is insidious, imposing and demands to be felt. Even if you’re able to somehow avoid it all day long, grief comes back to you in your sleep. It’s laying right on your heart as you wake up. Grief doesn’t say, “I’ve been here long enough, I think it’s time for me to leave.”
No. Grief crowds the heart, eats up all your energy and chronically imposes upon your peace. But grief isn't some evil force that's only there to cause pain. Grief is escorting up an even deeper feeling, a truth about your life, what you value and what you need. Perhaps how much you wanted something, how deeply you care about someone, how far you've come from where you were.
Here are some examples of events that cause grieving:
A break up
The selling of your childhood home
What you always wanted but never got
A person who died
A person who is still alive but is electively absent in your life
The loss of a dream
Loving someone who is self-destructive
The loss of a pet
The end of a friendship
Job loss or the end of a career
The typical route for grieving begins with denial, and that’s actually a good thing. Ultimately, your defense mechanisms are there to protect you. Denial kicks in when it would otherwise be too overwhelming to feel it all at once. Ideally, denial slowly fades away and the grief is felt. More typically, you swallow your grief.
If you do choose to get out of the disorienting, dizzying loop of grief, here are 4 ways to begin:
1. UNDERSTAND - That your heart is broken, even if it’s not visible to others.
2. RECOGNIZE - Before you can grieve, you have to recognize that you need to grieve.
3. TOUCH - You have to touch the loss (as well as all the anger, sadness, bitterness, resilience, compassion and any other feelings you encountered during your loss).
4. MOVE - The feeling of grief can linger for so long that you almost befriend the grief.
Read the full blog here.
Just reflecting that given all the news and knowledge we have access to and people's reaction to it, is grief increasing? As it says in Ecclesiastes 1v17-18 "So I set out to learn everything from wisdom to madness and folly. But I learned firsthand that pursuing all this is like chasing the wind. The greater my wisdom, the greater my grief. To increase knowledge only increases sorrow." How does this affect mental health within society?
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