Nine-and-a-half years ago, I was in the depths of despair and in the most pain of my life! I had had trials and tribulations in my life, some ups and downs, but I had never experienced the jaw-gripping depths of grief as I had when my brother Jeremy passed away! There was no way to completely prepare myself for what I would go through, but what I know now is that being on the other side of loss changes and awakens you in ways I never would have known possible. Certainly, that awareness and knowledge doesn’t happen overnight, but rather it is a slow journey of self-discovery, evolvement and healing.
Eventually, We All Face Loss
As a social worker and therapist for over 15 years, I have walked with others in the trenches of anguish, but it wasn’t until I walked my own journey that I could fully grasp the experience. And isn’t that the truth of most any experience? No amount of books or articles, blogs, case studies or even real-life testimonials from clients, friends or family could have truly prepared my heart for the grief I felt.
Have you ever experienced a loss that has touched you so deeply that you don’t know how to move forward? I’m talking about any loss, whether it be by death, divorce, job … The only thing I’m most certain of in this life is that we will ALL go through pain and have to face loss and eventually even our own mortality. So, how do we start the process of navigating such uncharted waters and begin to breathe again?
Remember to STOP When You’re Grieving
Self-care is essential when you are thrown into grief. You must take care of the basics – hygiene, eat and sleep. In order to have the strength and energy to just get through the day (or rather, minute to minute in most cases). You may need to set up a schedule or bring in an accountability person to help you do these things.
Talk about it! We, as a society, need to do better to diminish the stigma associated with death and loss. My life’s goal is to transform my personal loss towards a greater purpose of healing myself and others. Many people turn to family and friends but they aren’t able to emotionally satisfy the needs of the bereaved. Therapists are an excellent and often a necessary resource to help those in throes of grief to move through the process most effectively.
You will need to alter your expectation about the process. You will need to try and remain open to how things unfold for you on this journey. Give yourself permission to take things as they come, with no right way, just the way that’s right for you!
You must be patient! All of us want the band-aid to feel better immediately! That’s our world as we know it – instant gratification. You will not get anywhere fast when it comes to grief.
If you can remember to STOP, breathe and get familiar with these steps, things may flow more freely for you!
I became a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist three years ago because I wanted to truly understand how to help people begin to heal. My personal experience, education and certification has equipped me with tools to not only help myself, but others. There are people that can and will help!
If there is anything you take away from this blog, please take this: your pain and grief do not have to define you. It becomes part of you and can transform you. You can still have joy and love in your life here on Earth. If you don’t believe that right now, THAT’S OK! I will hold space and hope for you!
Get Professional Grief Therapy
At Sound Mind Therapy, a professional therapist in St. Charles, MO, can help you begin to start the steps of your grief journey. Our therapists offer expert counseling services to St. Louis, MO, residents, and residents of surrounding areas. Call us today at (314) 499-9144 or complete our online form to get started.