If You Find the Right People, Grief Can Be Wonderful. Yes Wonderfully Healing
Grief, the art of healing from trauma generated by thinking about a really bad day, week, month or year, is bipolar: individualized and communal.
We all have a natural style of grieving. Just as our bodies heal naturally and according to the program built into our genitive, our grieving, our healing of our minds and souls plagued by trauma as a result of crisis, there is a order, a plan for that healing that is unique to us and us alone. Built upon our temperament and personality as well as the life lessons we learn along the journey, we grieve in a style that benefits and includes a variety of ways in which we work to accept and incorporate the loss into our present and future perceptions of our lives.
Our framing of the crisis events that led to the loss of an attachment to someone or something of vital importance as well as the meaning that we draw from the loss is a cognitive exercise. For the most part, this is a solitary activity as we are the ONLY ones who can frame and draw a meaning for ourselves out of a crisis even in which we live through. Sure, other people’s perceptions and thoughts on our loss and broken attachments play a factor yet at the end of the day, we and we alone are the only ones who develop a meaning from the crises and losses of our lives.
When we are surrounded by people who fail to understand or simply don’t agree with the new world order we are developing as a result of the crisis event and the meaning we are assigning to that event, relational tension starts. People who knew us PRIOR to the crisis want us to REMAIN the same old person. That is impossible. How can we be the same old person after a crisis has rocked our world? The very fact that we have experienced loss and broken attachments means that our world is different. Thus, our perceptions of the world have been recalibrated and we are different. When grieving, it is critical, at least from my experiences and for me, to find those who will support your new, recalibrated world view. Those people who wanted me to stay the same old Bob wanted me to remain the same old Bob because it made their life easier. They were not interested in my grieving and healing. So, I cut them out.
As your new world order, your new world view and perceptions of life are recalibrated, your mind changes. Your soul is renewed. And when your mind and soul go through an overhaul so your expression of the remodeling will be evident via behaviors. In addition, as we grieve, we engage in new behaviors designed to help us with the healing process. Grievers develop new routines and new activities. New routines and new activities often open the door for new, healing and supportive relationships. That does not mean that you have to attend a support group and talk about loss and pain. You may join a book club as a result of a loss and form new relationships with people who didn’t know you before the death, divorce, affair or what ever crisis rocked your world. These new relationships can be much more supportive and healing than the relationship you had established with other people who knew you prior to your loss and crisis.
In many ways, a griever will enter a new community, usually that of other grievers. No matter how that new community is formed such as a support group, book club, therapy group or whatever, the new community becomes the communal healing environment that the grieve enters to process their individualized style of grief. The individual griever processes the loss and crisis cognitively. A group of supportive and understanding individuals can help the griever with this process. In addition, the griever’s meaning applied to the loss and the crisis event fuel automatic emotional and physical reactions to the cognitive processing. The emotional and physical reactions are expressed and expelled via behaviors. And again, a healthy community of grievers who are supportive can assist the griever in finding healthy and healing behaviors.
From my experience, finding a community of supportive grievers can be the most wonderful part of the healing process. Grief is an individualized process with styles, and world views and behaviors as unique as the griever themselves. Yet, grief and healing are also community oriented activities that require the love and support of others.