Grief is a challenging, yet true part of the human experience. Loss is something we all suffer and it is vital to make space for grief. Making space for grief looks like creating space to heal.
Unfortunately, our society tends to be grief-adverse. This is your reminder, it is okay to slow down, stop, and grieve. When you slow down, stop and grieve there is time to integrate the necessary lessons and experiences so that you can effectively move forward.
There are many ways to grieve but the list below emphasizes the importance of ritual, ceremony, reflection, and community.
Talking about death is cathartic. We will all know someone who has died, and at some point you will die. Death is a fact of life and talking about it is an important part of being able to find acceptance. There is an authentic connection in talking about death.
In addition to accepting loss and experiencing grief, it is equally important to accept the continuous good in life. Gratitude is one of the main ingredients in well-being. There are still many reasons to live after loss, and there are also many ways to be inspired. What do you have gratitude for?
Somatics connect your mind and body. Engaging your body can serve as a grief ritual. The rituals below alchemize, and integrate the lessons of grief. Allow your emotions to flow. Here are some things you can try:
Find your Community
It is helpful to honor and witness our grief. Finding your community is vital to feeling support in challenging situations is invaluable. Do you have a group of trusted people? Trusted people look like people who are not trying to fix you or give you advice, instead they are witnesses. Just having supportive people is incredibly helpful.
In addition, getting together to collectively grieve creates space, and gives people permission to let emotions flow. When you gather with others there is space for your own experience in suffering, while grief is usually about an external experience.
Gather your tribe.
There is also an opportunity to be supportive to someone dealing with grief. In the instance that someone is experiencing grief, a great way to be supportive is to give them love since they have likely “lost love.” One sure way to love someone experiencing grief is to reflect on the ways in which they connect to others, what sorts of things do they do for the people closest to them? How does your loved one connect with you? This will provide clues for connection.
As important as offering support is, it is as important to be honest. Be honest and compassionate. Do not skip any part of the story of loss, this can result in grieving being blocked by feelings of exclusion. This can also lead to people making up their own stories and creating their own suffering. Sometimes the intention is protection but this can be received as exclusion.
The good news is the most common response to challenging situations, including loss is not trauma but actually resilience. There is space to heal during and after grieving. Continue to remember the good in your life, and take care of yourself and those you love.