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Image by Michael Held

Grief Recovery and Community

by Lisa Mackay

Grief: Conflicting feelings after experiencing the end of or change in a familiar pattern or behaviour.

   

There are many life events that can cause us to experience grief. Death and divorce are the most common, but other events include moving, graduating, job loss, health decline, miscarriage, legal troubles, empty nest, holidays, retirement, end of addictions, and pet loss.

   

After a loss, the body goes through a natural and normal process. Initially, in the first day to weeks and maybe even months that follow, the body and mind may feel a sense of shock or numbness.  This is normal.

 

It is very normal to experience major distraction and the inability to concentrate.  We can experience a change in our sleeping patterns. We can experience a change in our eating habits. 

   

And the biggest one of all, of course, is a roller coaster of emotions that follow in the wake of a death or loss. They ebb and flow with no rhyme or reason sometimes.

   

This is all part of grief. As humans with beating hearts, this is something we can’t escape. We all go through it at our own pace. There is no timeframe.

   

As painful as it is, grief can be even more painful in silence. Instead of “being strong”, consider being true to your broken heart. Have you ever said or heard someone say something like, “I need to be strong for my dad since mom died.” Or, “I need to be strong for my kids since the divorce.”  By being strong, the message we could be sending, or receiving is don’t show or feel your feelings. All very innocent. This concept of “being strong” is deeply engrained in all of us and has been passed down from well-meaning generations. The truth is, we must feel to heal.

   

Finding a safe person to share your feelings with, someone who can listen without fixing is a healthy way to start processing the emotional pain we carry around. This is one step forward to recovery


- Lisa Mackay, Grief Recovery Method Specialist IslandgirlGRM@outlook.com 

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