Grief and loss are unavoidable. They are a natural part of the human condition. No one can escape experiencing several forms of loss throughout their lives. However, in the American culture, many people attempt to avoid the feelings associated with grief and loss by denying the impact it can have on our present and future lives. Some people may quickly gloss over grief and loss, stating: “I’ve accepted, forgiven, and moved on” to put a matter to rest. Others may delve into addictive behaviors or other dysfunctional ways to numb out or block the feelings associated with grief. Unfortunately, storing grief and loss in our heads is a missed opportunity for growth on an emotional and spiritual level. It’s also an overlooked chance for hope according to Dr. Elizabeth- Kübler-Ross, a Swiss-American psychiatrist who was a pioneer in near-death studies. When a person processes thoughts and feelings, including grief, in a supportive, therapeutic individual or group environment, hope is often a powerful outcome.
Grief is normal, it is a direct result of attachment and love. There is really no one-size-fits-all approach to grief but normal grief tends to follow a pattern whereas complicated or what psychologists refer to as disenfranchised losses, can go underground and truthfully never get processes at all. This is when grief becomes what is referred to as complicatedand can block our enjoyment of life and even undermine our ability to be intimate.
Grief is a fact of life. As much as we hate it, fight it, or hide from it, it still lurks in the background. Allowing time and space for grief is not something I have always done.
“Grief is like the ocean, it comes on waves ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All one can do is learn to swim” - Vicki Harrison
Loss and grief are two inescapable emotions that humans must experience at some point in their lives. The ability to cope with these emotions varies in accordance with the different stages of a person’s life.
Social media has become a place for mourning. As people search for ways to reach out for solace, websites such as Facebook have become a platform to express grief and bereavement through the creation of Memorial Groups. Now, it has become easier than ever to mourn a departed friend or family member with a click of a mouse. Instead of sending flowers, we offer condolences and comfort to grieving friends who live far away with a simple post on your friend or the deceased person’s profile. However, while we mean well, there are things that we should remember while mourning someone on social media or connecting with our grieving friends online.