Why grieving is essential

by Fe Robinson

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When someone we love dies, it is hard for us. It is hard not only because we have lost them, but also because this loss brings with it a significant number of practical things that need to be done. Death certificates, funeral arrangements, wills and estates, there are many administrative tasks, not to mention the central role of caring for anyone who was dependent on our loved one, bereaved parents or children for example.

It is easy for the experience of loss to get swept under the carpet amidst the many things that need to be done.  It may be a way of surviving, to squish down what is felt so that we can focus on the jobs in hand.

In the short term, no harm will be done. However, finding times and places to allow our pain to be present, to deeply feel our own feelings is crucial. If we do not grieve, we become stuck. It may be hard to feel fully alive ourselves if we do not allow our sadness and pain to be felt and so to flow out of us.

If you love, then loss is a difficult and painful thing. Death has a finality that we cannot escape. Ultimately our only option is to be with this, to make space for it and to find a way to begin to relate symbolically with our loved one now they are no longer with us.

If you have recently lost someone you love, my thoughts are with you. I hope you can also be with yourself, with tenderness and love, and allow yourself to approach the inevitable pain of your experience. This too shall pass, in all likelihood in varying waves of intensity, surprising bouts of emotion, and anything but a smooth path of recovery.  But it will change.  To help yourself cope, you can connect to your grief and so let it pass through you.

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