We all experience grief in many forms. The loss of a job, relationship, house, loved one, pet, and even the loss of our youth. If we pause for a moment and reflect on the losses in our life, we may discover that they happen almost daily. My earliest memory of loss was when the family dog passed away. She died rather unexpectedly. Reflecting back, I recall the sound of my brother wailing in the hallway. That was the first time I was aware of the sound of grief. My brother was expressing the inner ache that he felt.
The first time i felt grief inside my body was at the age of thirteen. It felt as though my stomach had swallowed my heart in one gigantic gulp. This natural feeling of grief was triggered by the loss of my grandpa. He was an honorable man and I intuitively knew, as most of us do, that life would never be the same. When a loss occurs in our life, it's often abrupt. It is almost impossible to imagine what life will be like without something until it is gone. That is the difficulty of loss, it can't be processed with the mind alone; it demands to be felt with the heart.
With loss occurring almost daily, how do we stay a float? Grief isn't exactly trendy. However it is natural and necessary. I have attended many grief groups and I believe there are two common themes
1. We all grieve. It is one of the most common experiences that connect us as humans.
2. Each of us grieve in our own unique way. Giving ourselves permission to grieve is one of the biggest gifts we can offer ourselves.
As we navigate through the losses of life, it is important to remember we are not alone. Where there is life, there is loss. Letting grief move through us unchoreographed is key.
Here are some tips I recommend when grief arises:
- Feel your grief. This may manifest through tears, screaming into a pillow, or silence.
These words were once told to me and I would like to pass them on to you:
"Life will never be the same after a loss, but it can be good again."
Grief is a journey, it demands a lot of us, and it comes in waves. Ride the waves. In the presence of grief, the astonishing capacity of one's love is uncovered.
For more resources and information on grief, visit The Conscious Dying Network.
This post is part of Common Grief, a Healthy Living editorial initiative. Grief is an inevitable part of life, but that doesn't make navigating it any easier. The deep sorrow that accompanies the death of a loved one, the end of a marriage or even moving far away from home, is real. But while grief is universal, we all grieve differently. So we started Common Grief to help learn from each other. Let's talk about living with loss. If you have a story you'd like to share, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.