Grief – In simpler terms hurting. We all have experienced this at some point in life. I am talking about grieving caused by a major life change or loss. It doesn’t have to be just death of a loved one. It could be end of a relationship, a loved one moving away, loss of a valued possession, divorce or anything along the same lines. Grieving is a normal reaction to a loss and can be hard, stressful and tiring.
Everyone deals with grieving differently and there are no set rules as to how much time it will take for you to heal. But healing is a natural successor to grieving. We might not realize this while grieving, but that’s just how the nature has designed a human mind. We go through horrible things in life – deaths, break-ups, loss, cheating, heart-breaks and much more. But we all have the strength to get through it and ultimately heal; although the time everyone takes might be significantly different.
What’s the cause? Love and attachment. When love turns into possessiveness grieving becomes even more difficult to get through. Over the period of time, I think I have been able to learn my grieving pattern. Some of you might relate to this.
- Denial – I just don’t believe it. For a long time, I tell myself that everything is still okay and nothing has changed. It’s like a numbed disbelief, I don’t feel anything but vacuum – no emotions, no feelings, no sorrow. This is my way of giving myself a protected zone where, things are still okay and I repeatedly tell myself “I am fine”.
- Pain – As the shock wears off, the shield of denial can’t protect me anymore. Cz the logic screams that it’s real and I have lost something/someone. This is when the suffering starts; and I feel the unbelievable pain. One thing I have learned is that to feel this pain fully and completely is very important. Earlier I used to try and fight it, or kill it with pills. But it’s important to let it all out through tears and discomfort. This is a part of healing! It’s scary, cry out loud, scream and let it all out of your system at this point. Else remember that it will surface in your life at a later point.
- Anger – As the tears wash away the pain, another feeling kicks in. Anger. “Why did this happen to me?”, “who is responsible?”. Be extra careful during this time. You don’t want to yell at someone and be unreasonable to actually cause permanent damage to a relationship. Let it out in other ways – I like to go out for a walk or just sleep on it till I can. I also isolate myself from the rest of the world. And this might not be the best way to deal with this feeling, but it works for me. Distraction is the keyword here.
- Depression – People around you see that you have now started to calm down and they often confuse this with beginning of the healing process. But my friend, you are still far away from that. This is the stage of extreme sadness and loneliness. This is when you realize the magnitude of your loss, and you may exaggerate it too sometimes. This is when you reminisce memories of the beloved person/object/relationship and realize that you don’t have that anymore (and probably will never get it back). Dear friends, please don’t try to talk me out of this. Let me just go through the realization, the certainty of my loss.
- Reconstruction – As you realize that whatever happened can not be reversed, and you just have to suck it up and live with it. You start becoming more functional. You start to think more logically. You start getting back to your normal routine and however hard it may be, you do it cz you know that what has happened has happened and can’t be reversed.
- Acceptance – This is when you come to terms with the reality of your situation. You might not be happy yet. But you develop hope “things will be alright”, “I can live with this”. You might be a totally different person now; not the happy carefree you anymore. But you ponder over the lessons learned, rather than the situation. This doesn’t mean that you are ready to take on the world just yet, but you do start hoping that one day you will. And this is when the healing begins…
Someone else might have some other stages or sequence of events. Also, the time taken to get through the loss also varies – depending on your wisdom and the magnitude of your loss. But at the end of the day, just know that everything will be alright. You will heal and you will move on with your life. The joy will eventually follow.
You are the only one who is holding yourself back. Remember, if you don’t give it time now, it will pop back up later. So… Jump into the grieving process fearlessly to deal with the situation for good. It takes a lot of strength to be vulnerable and to let your emotions out. Just do it! Know that everything happens for a reason.
May we all be healed of all the losses!