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Doing Grief

Updated: Aug 26, 2022

“Your grief will fade over time.”, “Time heals all wounds.” These phrases insinuate that over time your grief will become non- existent and all you must do is wait it out, by the mere passing of time, grief will go away.

However, grief never really leaves. Once you have experienced the death of a loved one, grief takes up space in your life. You can try to ignore it by working yourself to exhaustion and falling into bed every night, numb and spent. You can try to run from it by busying your mind with binge watching movies or reading shelves of books. You can try to hide from it by substituting food, alcohol, or pills for the pain you feel. But grief will always show up again. Usually with a vengeance and in the company of physical issues like pain or inflammation.

Grieving is a verb. It is an action word. Grieving means to show or feel grief. Grieving requires a participant. When you experience the death of someone you love, grief invites itself into your life, like it or not. It needs attention and wants you acknowledge its existence. You grieve by expressing your emotions, verbally and physically. You feel grief in your body. You notice the changes that take place.

Explore your grief. What hurts? What does it feel like? Are you clenching your fists, tightening your jaw, holding your breath? What does loneliness feel like? Does your throat constrict before your tears flow? Are you squeezing your forehead? Are your tears welcome? Do you hold them back? What type of day makes your grief feel stronger? What sucks the energy from you and leaves you exhausted? Are there days when you have only fond memories? Do you feel guilty? Can you sit with your feelings and see them through until they shift on their own? Do you feel like you avoid your grief? What time of day or night is more emotional for you?

By asking yourself questions about your grief, you will notice if you are engaging your grief or trying to ignore and hide from it. The “time” that is spent in grief actually means “doing” grief, not the passing of hours, days, weeks, months, or years.

The definition of grieving becomes the time of spent asking, listening, pondering, reflecting, crying, laughing, sighing, screaming, learning, yearning, discarding, keeping, believing, loving, feeling, restoring and any other action word that is beneficial to you and your grief. This is grieving and it takes you doing grief. The healing and fading will be determined by the time you spend with your grief.

It will take courage and grace to meet your grief, experience your grief and participate with it. It is your grief to live, your grief to feel and your grief to acknowledge. This is living with grief in life.


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