Feeling is Healing
After the passing of our son-in-law two months ago, the subject of grief has been a frequent topic of conversation in our household. How stuck the loss of life, a relationship, a job, etc. can leave us.
It’s interesting to observe what happens when we humans are flooded with emotions we don’t know what to do with. Some of us choose to deny how we feel and others keep ourselves busy as if the event that is causing us so much pain never happened. This may be a part of the normal grieving process; however, until we are ready to feel what is happening inside of us, it will be difficult to move passed the pain.
I’m grateful for having the willingness to allow myself to open up and feel my emotions. But not everyone is. This is where a strong support system can play an important role. It can serve not only to comfort us but to help shake us out of our “stuckness”.
The perfect example of this is in the video below. Grey’s Anatomy fans might remember the scene when one doctor helps another get in touch with her feelings after the death of her brother, the beloved Dr. Derek Shepard. While she goes on about how cruel life has been to her. How the loss of every man in her life has destroyed her and that despite it all, she’s holding it together. Her friend tells her, “…We do whatever it takes to cover it up, to dull the sensation, but it’s not normal. We’re supposed to feel, we’re supposed to love and hate, and hurt, and grieve, and break, and be destroyed, and rebuild ourselves and be destroyed again. That is human, that’s humanity, that’s being alive…” Only then is the grieving doctor able to open up and allow herself to feel.
If you or a loved one are suffering from a loss, consider*:
- Talking to friends and colleagues to help you understand your experience
- Accepting feelings such as sadness, anger, and frustration as normal
- Taking care of yourself by eating, exercising and resting well
- Helping others affected by the same experience
- Remembering to celebrate who/what you’ve lost
Others may benefit from professional help. The American Psychological Association says, “Human beings are naturally resilient, considering most of us can endure loss and then continue on with our own lives. But some people may struggle with grief for longer periods of time and feel unable to carry out daily activities. Those with severe grief may be experiencing complicated grief. These individuals could benefit from the help of a psychologist or another licensed mental health professional with a specialization in grief.”
For more information about grief support in our area, visit Psychology Today.
– Maggie Hernandez-Knight
Video: Grief Support – Edited Clip from ABC 7’s Grey’s Anatomy