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.
By Tian Dayton
Psychologist, Senior Fellow at The Meadows, Author, Specialist in Addictions and Relational Trauma, Psychodramatist
“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.” - Washington Irving
By Tian Dayton, Ph.D. Senior Fellow at The Meadows
Grief is a life issue that strikes at the very heart of being human, while we live in a body, pair bond and procreate we will love and we will lose. The effect of loss can be shocking and dis-equilibrating and it needs a process of mourning or grieving to come to terms with. When loss is not accompanied with some sort of process that allows us to both feel and express our feelings of despair, vulnerability, disorientation and perhaps even relief, those emotions can go underground. But out of sight is not out of mind, they will come back to haunt us if we do not somehow find a way to accommodate and accept the loss that has taken place.