Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Workshop 2013 Spring Week 3: How Not to Get Stuck in Our Grief

How do you react to pain, particularly emotional pain?  Human beings are, for the most part, hard-wired to avoid it.  When we are hit with the storms of grief, the most natural thing in the world is for us to try to avoid feeling it and thinking about what is causing us pain.  It takes tremendous courage to mourn our loss(es), because it requires us to think about and feel the very things we want to avoid thinking about and feeling.  What triggers your feelings of grief?  A song?  Certain places with particular memories?  Pictures of your loved one or loved ones? 

One of the ways we can get stuck is to deny ourselves the time and space to engage in this remembering.   We think or are told that there is no point in it; you can’t go back, no one can make the past different so just move on…but it is important.   Spending time remembering our loved one is essential to making progress in our grief journey and in healing our broken hearts.  Why is this so important when it causes so much pain?  Because it is the way that we gradually shift our emotional attachment from the physical, bodily person who is separated from us to our memories of the person.  And those memories cannot be taken from us.   Take a few minutes this week to look at pictures (or listen to songs or visit places) of your loved one(s), and try to remember the stories around those pictures – even if they bring you to tears.  If possible, tell someone that you trust these precious memories.  In the bittersweet-ness of those moments, you will begin to get little pieces of your own broken heart back.

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