Sunday, November 13, 2016

Grief

When I was counseling, I used to tell my grieving clients that there were no shortcuts through grief. It pays to just go ahead and deal with the emotions as they come up, rather than trying to stuff them down. Stuffing just delays the grieving process or causes emotions to manifest via unhealthy behaviors such as overeating, drinking too much, engaging in risky behaviors, etc. 

This year has been a time of overwhelming grief for so many people I know. A dear friend lost her (too young!) mother recently. Other loved ones have had to grieve inevitable life changes and moves. Still others are grieving for things that might have been, hopes, and dreams. I lost an irreplaceable friend this past Summer. I am still grieving his loss. 

Being jeered at, sneered at, and told to "just get over it" only complicates the grieving process. Everyone grieves at his or her own pace. Grieving can became complex if it goes on for an extraordinary period of time. But, it is not realistic to expect the grieving process to be over in a week, a month, or even a year in some cases. If someone is allowed to grieve in his or her own time, it will get better. Just be patient and love them through it.