THE RELIEF OF GRIEFAug 20th, 2013 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog
Grief as a Friend
More of long time acquaintances and dear friends are reporting the loss of a loved one. Many of the notices indicate the death of a parent, particularly mothers. We are, after all, many of us, at that age when the clock ticks faster and the calendar seems to be turned over too often, too soon.
Many have lost their fathers, years back. Men seen to have shorter life spans. And so, we spread out our grief, extending over several years, so that our adjusting to the loneliness and heart ache that inevitably comes is less difficult.
It is that that draws our attention today. Grief is a good thing. It gives permission to our needing to express our feelings openly, honestly, deeply. For a time, suddenly out of nowhere the promptings of grief emerge. It begins with a shaking feeling and then usually the tears will flow, and finally the sobbing takes over. And all of that is quite okay. It is a means by which we are resetting ourselves to the reality of someone no longer with us. Our emotional framework no longer experiences the unequivocal support and care of our Mother. Memories help, recall brings back a pleasant sense of presence, spirit presence, and we wish for it to last longer.
Trying to stem the grief is not necessary and often not useful. The part of our being that needs the healing of our grief comes with our being able to let go. Letting go of the pain that is like an ache in the heart. Letting go of the emptiness that needs filling. Letting go of the might have beens and the maybes and the wish I hads.
Allowing Grief to Flow
Grief will come upon us, whether we want it or not. Until its course is run, it will ebb and flow at will. So long as you may need it, its presence will be there. At some point comes the moment when adjustment to the loss will settle down and there will be less agony, despair and heartache. But all of those and others must run their own course. The relief of grief is a period of development of one’s life orientation. It comes, it goes. But that period between, when it is happening, is a time of critical transition. One cannot hold onto another forever. One can celebrate another’s memory, another’s contribution to your own life, another’s passing as one of the passages that all must endure.
Giving permission for your own pain to cure, for your own sorrow to be healed is one of life’s inescapable experiences.
Embrace it, savor it, include it as a part of the journey.