I wanted to write about grief for a long time but every time I start out with good intention, I can never find the perfect way to explain how grief works. I guess it is because it is so very personal to each person.
I know that when I divorced quite a few years ago, I thought it would be smooth sailing for me since I had a marriage that was fading away for many years. I thought I was ready for divorce. It took me a few months to realize the extent of the loss. Even a friend at the time confessed that she thought I would take it better! She wondered why I was so sad about it.
My kids worried, and I cried for many months, every night. I still don’t talk about it very often because it seems unresolved still, 10 years later. Recently, I read of someone who still has problems with depression after a divorce. I believe we can get stuck in a stage of grief and never accept the loss.
So that is what grief is all about in my interpretation!
It is individual to each person. Even if the loss has given you some new found freedom. Perhaps you took care of someone for a long time who was ill. This type of loss may bring about relief, and that relief may bring feelings of guilt that you are glad it is over.
Here is an authority on Grief and Loss
Dr. Elisabeth Kubler- Ross identified stages of grief, ( not in any specific order, because many people do not follow any formula when they grieve)
First: Denial and Isolation
Dr. Kubler-Ross believes that many people get stuck in one of the 5 areas for many years. Maybe it is because we just don’t grieve like we used to. I remember my grandma when she lost her husband. She wore black for a year. I was only 5 when my papa died, but I remember grandma crying every night for about a year. And when she appeared happier to me, she went blind. I used to think that she went blind because of all the tears.
I know some people who are stuck in anger. They still feel angry at the bad things that have happened to them in the past. They wallow it it, talking about it all the time, but never accepting the loss. Moving on and accepting things the way they are is important. That is why sometimes we have to remember the serenity prayer.
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
Prayer taken from: The Voice of Love. A Guide to Love, God, Prayer, Meditation and Peace Within You- Right Now. http://www.the voiceforlove.com/serenity-prayer.html
Text in part from: Kubler-Ross, E. ( 1969). On Death and Dying: What the Dying have to Teach Doctors, Nurses, Clergy and their own Families. New York, NY. Macmillian Publishing