Good Grief!: How Grief Can Be Used To Heal Life Changes.
How Grief can be used to heal Life Changes.
not just when someone dieS.
When we discuss the topic of grief, we frequently think about the death of a person. In this blog post, I want to discuss the type of loss we experience in change. We typically imagine grief as an emotion that is required to heal after the loss of a loved one. We hold ceremonies like funerals and processes like cremation or burying them. This is the totality of their remains. We are then left with the emotions of loss and go through the stages of grief.
We honour our loved ones in many ways, including a recently discovered way, memorial diamonds. The carbon from cremated ashes are made into what is called memorial diamonds or funeral diamonds. I had no idea something like this existed. I just thought it was a story line on an episode of Life in Pieces (2015-) when Gigi dies and requests this in her will. If you are curious, take a look at this. It just shows you there are many ways we honour the dead.
So aside from the loss of a loved one, I had no idea that I can also be feeling the emotion of grief with other life changes. A loss of a job, a relationship, or a change in season can also bring grief. This realization certainly opened my eyes to all the grieving and healing I missed out on. The uncertain sadness I was feeling when we moved from Fall to Winter, the time I quit my job or a move to a new home all brought grief. These transitional moments in life are glazed over as “normal” changes or, in some moments, exciting. Sure, I was excited when I decided to quit my job to move to the next, but I felt sad that I am leaving something I dedicated my days, weeks and sometimes years doing. Just as one would feel during grief, a feeling of longing and fear erupted. I had no idea I needed time to reflect and grieve what was lost, and heal to create room for what was to come. Using the example of moving to a new home, though I may not have felt all of the stages of grief, I did feel a sense of loss, denial, fear, disorganization and guilt. These feelings lead to new patterns that transitioned into hope and adjustments to this new environment.
When I accepted that I was grieving, a healing process that I could take on outside of a death of a person, it freed me. For example, when CreateBeing moved from being in its first year of business to its second, I felt grief. I did not know why I was feeling an impending change. Saying goodbye to my first year, felt like I needed to have a renewed purpose and ways of expressing what I did. I had my one year of discovery and now in our second year, we have a new wave of exploration to begin. I was able to let go and celebrate the life it had in year one and allow myself to be open to the possibilities in year two.
Realizing this gave me freedom to release built up frustrations I had inside of me; anger that festered and lingered in my body. These tensions would not heal and the emotions would have been left unturned had I not recognize that grieving. This sense of loss has helped me adapt to change.
Can you see that grief is an emotion that can be felt outside of death?
Are there other ways people have honoured the dead? Could we adapt how we honour the dead to do the same for life changes?
What experience are you still grieving?