The Nature and Purpose of Grief
Someone once said, "Grief is reaching out for someone who's always been there, only to find when you need them the most, one last time, they're gone." We think there is a lot of truth in those words.
The death of a loved one is life's most painful event. People's reactions to death remain one of society's least understood and most "off-limits" topics for discussion. Oftentimes, grievers feel totally alone in dealing with their pain, loneliness, and isolation.
Grief is a natural emotion that follows death of someone dear to you; and to one degree or another, it hurts. It is like an open wound which must heal.
At times, it can seem as if this healing will never happen. But, sometimes the healing process can take much less time than we have been led to believe. Grieving is purely an individual experience.
But It Does Have a Purpose
The ultimate goal of grief and mourning is to take you beyond your initial reactions to the loss. The therapeutic purpose of grief and mourning is to get you to the place where you can live with the loss in a healthy way. To do this, you have to make some necessary changes in your life, including:
- Changing your relationship with your loved one—recognizing he or she is now gone and developing new ways of relating to him or her. Take comfort in knowing your relationship will continue - it will just be different.
- Developing a new sense of yourself to reflect the many changes that occurred when you lost your loved one.
- Taking on physically and mentally healthy new ways of being in the world without your loved one.
- Finding new people, objects or pursuits in which to put the emotional investment that you once placed in your relationship with the deceased.
The bottom line of this active work of grief and mourning is to help you recognize that your loved one is gone. Then you must make the necessary internal, psychological changes, as well as the necessary external, social changes, to accommodate this reality. And it all takes time.
If you would like additional grief support, please call us. We are here to help you through all the moments after loss.