7 Questions About Grief Work
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Why are you are offering this?
In the word of The Blues Brothers: “I’m on a mission from God.” I say that jokingly, but only a little. I believe we are all on a mission from God, by virtue of the fact we are on this planet. Some of us have learned what that mission is.
You’re probably familiar with the term Near-Death Experience. NDErs often come back with a renewed sense of purpose. Some even learn what their particular reasons for being here are. You might now have heard of Spiritually Transformative Experiences. Spiritually Transformative Experiences can be something as miraculous as seeing an angel; as tragic as the passing of a loved one; or as subtle as a vivid dream that speaks to you. My spiritually transformative experience was the passing of my daughter Shayna in 2015 that solidified the path I knew I had to be on.
I was fortunate that when Shayna passed I had developed a healthy view of death. That mitigated the impact of her passing. It was still not easy. It still isn’t easy. But, I want to share my perspective to help others. Not long after Shayna passed I found Helping Parents Heal. I volunteer with Helping Parents Heal and have worked with hundreds of parents over the years. I want to offer that to as many people as I can.
Why do I need to go to anyone? Can’t I just get over it?
Typically, yes- kind of. Grief is a natural thing we all go through at some point. We don’t get “over it.” We learn to live with it.
If you want someone to partner you through your grief, I can provide a listening ear and my experience of what worked and did not work for me. I can also share the perspective that has worked for me.
We are social beings and often need to process things in groups. A good friend, a spouse can all be helpful. Sometimes, it’s beneficial to talk to someone who has been through the same thing. Speaking with a neutral third party can be helpful as well. You can’t freely share everything with the people in your inner circle who know each other.
When you come to me, you can feel comfortable having a conversation totally dedicated to you, unlike conversations with friends which go both ways. It’s all about you.
Will I have to believe in what you believe?
I’m not here to push any religion on anyone. My background is in engineering. I am as skeptical as anyone. I’m not even here to push spirituality on anyone.
Spiritual is a word we often use to describe what science does not understand yet. I think anything we call supernatural is simply what we don’t (yet) have a materialistic explanation for. Radio waves would have been considered supernatural 200 years ago if anyone had tried to explain to you there were these invisible things that travel for millions of miles, can penetrate walls, and could carry your voice from one end of the Earth to another in an instant.
I will not ask you to believe anything. I will share with you what I have discovered through years of study and examination of the evidence. My worldview is not based on wishful thinking, on any particular scripture, or on the teachings of any religion. It is based on evidence, data, and study of the most current offerings from science and human experience.
If I allow myself to grieve, will I get lost in it?
Just a couple of days ago I was watching a television show and the main character expressed this exact concern, that if he allowed himself time to grieve, he would never come out of it. When his wife died, he doubled down on his work and tried to avoid his grief. This is a common reaction. I did this when my grandmother passed.
What I have come to realize. You will grieve one way or the other. You will grieve sooner or later. You can face your grief now or try to stuff it and have it come up possibly in unhealthy ways later.
If I "get better" is that dishonoring the person who’s left?
I had this fear after Shayna passed. I thought the deeper the love, the deeper the mourning. What would show my love more than being miserable for the remainder of my time on Earth? I can assure you that is not what was meant for your life or how your loved ones want you to live. They want us to go forward with our lives. We honor them by being the best person we can be.
I feel exhausted and drained every day. How can I feel like myself again?
Slowly, one step at a time. Grief isn’t easy. It’s painful. It’s exhausting. But, it’s manageable.
I will give you this caution. Depending on the type of loss you have suffered, you may never be the same person again. That is OK. You’re not meant to be. In time, you can become even stronger than you were before. You can become You V 2.0.
I don’t know how to live my life without my son, daughter, other person in it.
We all feel this way at some point. It’s OK to feel this way. We become addicted to the physical presence of those closest to us in our lives. We can learn to cope with the lack of their physical presence and learn new ways to incorporate them into our lives.
They are never truly gone. We can work together to help you know and feel that.