Its been awhile since I’ve posted about grief.
For anyone who may not be aware, I have published 2 books exploring grief, loss, love and challenging life experiences. I have written a third book exploring the anguish of perinatal loss and involuntary childlessness however this as yet unpublished.
Grief is a bit of an interesting topic because on the one hand nobody wants to know about it, yet on the other hand everyone experiences it eventually.
My grief is my teacher. She is part of my story. I no more deny her place in my life than pretend everything is always alright. I think integrating our grief allows us to embody our story more fully, so that we are less 2-dimensional, more fully fleshed-out.
But more than this. To allow grief a seat at the table of life instead of shoving it under the carpet allows us to take the lessons on board and respond to life’s challenges in a healthier way.
And the opposite can also prove true, that if we respond to grief by dismissing it or not acknowledging it then the danger is we develop a far more negative grief reaction. For some people, this can develop into prolonged grief disorder (complicated grief). This is where mental health problems can fester away, with ptsd, anxiety and depression as common and compounding issues. I know, because I have been there. I was diagnosed in 2012 as having complicated grief after experiencing multiple losses. Its been a long road back.
But I’m raising this today as I think as the pandemic rolls on into the second half of the year, more and more people will find themselves experiencing grief and trauma in some form or another. Certainly many people are experiencing depression and anxiety. The more we talk about this, the more we bring it into the open, the greater potential there is that people will not fall through the cracks unnoticed. The more dialogue, the better prepared we can be, the less likelihood for longterm damage.
A New Normal
But its all a work in progress. We are learning what the New Normal is, and sadly, it includes a great deal of uncertainty.
Looked at another way, one of the lessons we can also derive from this teacher is the reminder about how precious life is. Each day is precious, a lesson I have learnt often but need to return to equally as much.