By Deb Graf, LPC
Is Grief the Same as Mourning?
Grief is the conflict in feelings caused by a change or an end in a familiar pattern of behavior. It is a normal and natural reaction to the many losses we experience in life. Of itself, grief is not pathological. Mourning, on the other hand, is the outward expression of grief.
- Don’t Feel Bad. (Healing comes from feeling the pain.)
- Replace the Loss. (First grieve the loss.)
- Grieve alone. (People grieve alone because they are afraid of being judged or criticized.)
- Be strong. (Real strength is a natural demonstration of emotions.)
- Keep busy. (Face the pain – don’t bury it.)
- Time heals all wounds. (Actions, not time, heals.)
ACTIONS NECESSARY FOR COMPLETE RECOVERY:
- Apologize for any wrong doing
- Forgiveness: giving up hope of a different or better yesterday, to cease to feel resentment against [an offender]. It is an action, not a feeling.
- Significant emotional statements: “I love you; I liked your laughter….”
- Reminisce fond memories.
HOW TO GRIEVE:
- Set aside time that is quiet
- Select modalities to help you process: writing, singing, walking, or talking to supportive people
- Use music, photo albums, and lyrics to set the mood
- Value your needs and trust your process
- Arrange for support
- Consider what an “unacceptable” emotion is. Why? (No emotion is unacceptable.)
Your life is like a chapter book:
It has some sad chapters. Some of the best stories have sad chapters, but the later chapters can be happy and exciting.