Dealing with Loss and Grief – Our Experience
It’s been a month since the date that will forever be etched in our hearts – 12 Oct 2017.
We went from counting the number of days that have passed, to number of weeks and now we’re counting in months.
We are feeling much better now compared to a month back, but do things simply get better because of the time that has passed? Is time really a good healer of the heartaches that we experience from loss and grief?
I believe we do need time to heal – emotionally, physically and mentally. But the healing process needs to be an active one where we allow ourselves to think through, talk about and make meaning of our story of loss.
Time alone may distant us from the experience of loss, erase some details from our memories and allow us to bury our grieve deeper into our hearts. But any little trigger can easily send forth a tidal wave of emotions, overwhelming us, because they are too complicated for us to understand all at once if we have not already processed our story.
It’s hard enough to have gone through the experience of loss, having to revisit the experience and emotions that came with it sounds like a painful and tedious task.
Well, it’s not easy, I won’t lie about that. But I honestly think that it is well worth the effort to do so. It may not take away the pain or the tears (in fact, you will open your heart to experience even more emotions as you “rumble” through your story), but it helps us to understand what we are feeling and bring meaning and purpose to what we are going through.
Everyone deals with loss and grief in various different ways. Some are more vocal during the process, others prefer to make it a more private affair, working things through on their own or with a few people whom they are very close with.
Perhaps it is due to my psychology background, I know how easy (and scary) it is to be overwhelmed by all the negative emotions that come along with the experience of loss and grief, and the strong tendency to choose to ignore or numb these emotions rather than allowing ourselves to experience and understand them. So right from the start, we took an active approach towards dealing with our loss of Ellie. What I will be sharing are definitely not the only ways that are effective, but they have helped us to become a lot more emotionally, mentally and physically healthy over this period of time.
I initially intended to share my process of dealing with loss and grief in a single blog post, but I realised there are so much I want to talk about (4 pages in words and counting), so I will be sharing it as a series instead. The series will cover the following things that we did during our process of recovery:
- Reading and Learning – where I learnt about the process of Rising Strong
- Writing and Sharing – my process of understanding my emotions and making sense of my story
- Intentional Living – lessons that we learnt from our journey with Ellie and how we translate them into the way we live
- Creating – because going through a life-changing experience always brings about a great deal of inspiration to create
- Resting and Physical Recovery – some of the things we do to help us recover well physically
I have read many books and articles that talk about dealing with loss and grief in theory. While they are great resources, I hope that by sharing my real life experience of walking through one of the most difficult times of my life, you won’t just gain information, but love, support and encouragement as well 🙂
For when I am weak, then I am strong. – 2 Corinthians 12:10