A Brand New Day

Humanity Inspired

The Necessity of Grieving

Much research & publication about the very natural process of GRIEVING has come about since the 1969 epic book by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross “On Death & Dying” which spelled out the 5 Stages of Grief.  These stages include:  Denial & Isolation-Anger- Bargaining- Depression- Acceptance.  There is no set order in which these stages follow during the grieving process although most commonly Denial along with Shock usually happens first with the remaining stages ebbing & flowing over months & oftentimes years.  Every person grieves at their own pace & there is no right or wrong, but generally when a person has hit the 5 year mark of the beginning of their grieving process & he or she hasn’t been able to make peace with the pain in order to move on with their life, is a matter of concern.  It is not uncommon for a person to have multiple losses & multiple grievings that have layered on top of the previous one which makes for very deep, profound emotions of sadness, anger, depression & even anxiety.

If a grieving person takes an emotional risk in confiding in another person, often the common answer is “It will go away over time.”  However, many grievers haven’t found this to be so true.  The following quote by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross sums up the “ending of the pain” quite nicely in my view:

“The reality is that you will grieve forever.  You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one;

You will learn to live with it.  You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered.

You will be whole again but you will never be the same.  Nor should you be nor would you want to be.”

This inspirational insight gives hope & comfort to those who have known the long painful journey of the grieving process.  It could also be extended to other types of losses including relationships, marriages, friendships, jobs, homes, finances, dreams, health…the list could go on depending on the unique experiences of each individual.

In closing, please know that your grieving process is natural & necessary.  No need to be ashamed of it.  It is yours alone.  Just realize that you will heal, rebuild yourself & be whole again in the future, not as the person you once were, but the person you are meant to be for the next journey of your life.

Teresa Reichart-Vernon, LSCSW

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Recalling the excruciating emotional pain of a friendship that suddenly went awry after days, months, years of sharing life events and telling each other your deepest thoughts and feelings; Or perhaps a monumental misunderstanding that led to the loss of a beloved job or valued relationships with coworkers; Or perhaps an unwanted divorce or the death of a loved one.  All types of loss of someone close to you that at one time brought joy, brightness, support and unfailing enrichment in your daily life suddenly gone!  After days, months and even years of trying to make sense of such an unexpected parting the sadness and pain may not ever really go way.  The experience weighs heavily on your mind and body.  Will it ever just go away so you can breathe freely and feel carefree?  Will you ever be able to trust a potential friend, partner or coworker again?

Often people who are still holding onto their painful past experiences struggle to LET IT GO.  I often get the question of “How do you get over it?” or “How do you let it go?”

Most people who seek an answer have been told over and over that TIME will heal the burdensome pain.  That would be part of my answer, but the other part of the answer is you have to WANT to let it go.  Puzzled with that answer?  Many who haven’t been able to move on with their lives in fact get an emotional reward by holding onto the old pain.  Why?  Some hold onto it to remain in certain roles such as The Good Guy, The Rescuer, The Bad Guy, The Poor Guy, The It Was Their Fault Guy, The I Get Sympathy Guy, The I Can’t Forgive Myself Guy…you get the picture here.  For those who truly want to LET IT GO and move forward with their lives the realization that you are getting some sort of emotional pay off for holding onto that ball and chain of pain needs to be recognized.

Be honest, examine your true emotions so you can figure out why you still insist on holding on.  Once you realize that you remain in a VICTIM frame of mind and you decide you no longer care to be the victim, you can begin to release the pain.  FORGIVENESS plays a huge part in being able to finally let it go.  Whether you need to forgive yourself for screwing up or forgive someone else who screwed up your life, you will need to do so.  Once you are able to MAKE PEACE WITH THE PAIN, not condoning what has been done, you will be able to let the burden lift off your mind and body.  Only then will you be able to move forward with your life and onto future great things.

My best to you, Teresa Reichart-Vernon, LSCSW

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