Grief is Inevitable, but not Inconsolable
Unlike many cultures around the world, people in the Unites States don’t really have an agreed-upon process for handling death, one of our most disturbing emotional experiences. The mix of feelings can include anger, sadness, hurt, guilt, confusion and eventually, acceptance. Rarely do we feel in control of such intense reactions, and once we travel the path of grief, our world is forever changed.
Many cultures have instituted traditions and rituals for processing grief, but in America, we are often expected to just “get over it,” with minimal time to process such deep emotions. Because we can never unlearn what we learn in our lives, seeing life for what it actually is rather than what we would have liked it to be, can be devastating. Grief takes many forms, and although loss is what we associate with grief, this process can take on a whole new level in realizing that we may have never truly honored what is possible in life.
It’s important to recognize that we all take our own unique journey through grief—there is no one “right” way. Reminders of those no longer with us can come in many forms, like a sound or a smell. Often, it’s seeing a picture or a place that takes us back in time. Gently honoring our pain and remembering that there are no wrong feelings is important to realize and make the transition easier for all involved.
Susan Hannah is a life coach who specializes in grief issues at the Lotus Massage & Wellness Center, located at 2850 E. Grant Rd. Contact her at 520-329-1402