The disappointments carried within our souls are all part of a grief phenomena. We are grieving all of the time. Depression, anxiety and even obesity can be in response to a loss and at the same time can cause a grief reaction. The funny thing is is that no one talks about how present grief is in our daily lives. The silence occurs because few people know how to talk about the life cycle of grief. The subject of grief is taboo! Much like the conversation about mental illness. Don’t talk about it! Avoidance seems to be the best coping mechanism.
It is the inherent need to deny that prevents this important conversation. The disappointments and rejections are the little ‘G’s’(griefs), while the loss of a limb and the death of a loved one is a big ‘G’.”
There is no beginning, middle and end to how we grieve. Grieving is as unique as a fingerprint. The grief process needs to be thought of like a dance. The dance of your grief will sometimes feel like you are doing the twist, or the Lindy or some disjointed movement that makes absolutely no sense. When the relationship to the grief shifts, the dance is smoother, and transforms the grief into grace.
This fresh new perspective of learning to dance with grief allows for fluid movement in and out of the different phases of grief.
Here is anexercise for life’s big griefs and little griefs:
1. Start by thinking about what or who is being grieved. What is the relationship to what or who was lost?
2. Identify the emotions that are felt in the grief presently. Write them down on a piece of paper. Some emotions that may by felt are: “I feel deadened”, “I feel void of feelings”, ”I am angry”, “I am desperate”, “I am relieved”, “I feel lost”, “I feel scared”, etc.
3. Next to each of these experiences, write down the coping skills used to handle each one. Has it worked in the past? If that skill set works- Great! If not, then think about the needs associated to each of the feelings. Are the feelings only associated to the grief or have they been around long before the current situation? How are the feelings soothed? Is there a better response? Is there movement in this emotion or does it tend to paralyze? If “I feel paralyzed” is something felt, then think about what emotion would be best replace it? When replaced, even on paper, the process of changing may begin.
This exercise can help in the creation of a grief journal and allows for a shifting of how you deal with your grief. Change the apathy and frustration from passive to active. You may find that your script changes as your grief does.