The nature of Grieving

by Amyobala Key

Angel who Assists   

We have become a rushed society. Every technological gadget which has been designed to improve our lives has in reality robbed us of the human art of pausing, most significantly encountered in the pause that must occur upon the loss of a close entity. Whether it is the discontinuation of a relationship or the abrupt end to a partner's life, we do not know what kind of reaction will hit us until the event occurs. We often view the most manly of men, from soldiers to firemen to policemen choking back the tears as they seek to honor fallen comrades.

Our first mistake is to attempt to define the event in a hierarchy of importance. Is it worse to lose a child or a spouse? It is irrelevant. The loss is the loss, and it is unnecessary to put the loss into a framework. Think of the husband who has returned home to discover a policeman at the door announcing that there has been a car accident and now his wife, child, and sister are all deceased? There is no order of importance for the death.

We have phrases that seems so inadequate. The show must go on. Indeed it must, but first there is the attendance to the feelings.

At the onset, we have shock, and depending upon the responsibilities of the receiver of the news, we can have seemingly cold and methodical processing of arrangements. We can have utter collapse. As with stress, the emotional impact is unpredictable. It is a time for others, somewhat removed from the event, to take over and take charge and be there for assistance. For the death of a child in unusual circumstances, grief counseling may be required, not just for the family, who at least have each other for support, but for classmates and others who may appear almost unconnected from the event.

It may appear foolish to say at this time, but everyone, everywhere, will at one time experience grief, and must be ready to release the emotions, almost in preparation. Do not be afraid of funerals. Do not belittle the owner of a pet who has lost "just an animal." One day, you will be there too, and it will be far more emotional to you than you can imagine.

Prepare for it. Practise it. When you are alone, envision the passing of a close loved one. You will not cause the event. You must be ready. If you are the one who passes, then be good to your loved ones in advance, by making all the preparations, and having all the insurance in place that will prevent the passing from becoming a far greater difficulty to those who remain behind.

Most importantly, make up your mind ahead of time what your stance is on the continuance of living things. It is not about ghosts, it is not about pearly gates, it is about what you intrinsically believe. You will meet again. Your loss in momentary. Make certain, that if this is your core belief, then express it before you encounter it as a shock.

Never decide that you must adopt an emotional reaction that interferes with life going on. Do not be angry because you think someone should have done something to correct the matter before it happened. Do not feel guilty because you regretted failing to visit the passing loved one or even having an unpleasant conversation with them the last time you saw them. There is no last memory or last word. Your accumulated experiences with your loved one is a gift which you both have received, they with you, and you with them. That is the gift that comes with having lived.

To feel no grief in one's life means that one has felt no love for anyone or anything. Grief is the bounce against the wall that occurs when life has taken its inevitable step. Honor your loved one. Cherish your memories. There will be many more. It should be an inspiration to you to consider how others will feel when it is your time, so do well by them all, expecting nothing in return.

Now, back to technology. In this rushing world, where sometimes we encounter the man with his hand on the wheel of the car, and his other hand on a cell phone glued to his ear. It appears that he has forgotten how to pause. Does he eat his meals in a rush while typing on the computer or watching television? Even if you can only manage a half an hour a day, you should spend the time alone, in a quiet spot, reflecting upon the benefits in your life. It sounds corny, but it is necessary. Give thanks for loved ones and for opportunities. It's a good idea to do this after meals. Give your body a chance to digest and your mind the chance to reflect. It used to be a common event to those out in the country after a meal, to sit on the veranda and just listen to the hum of the insects as the sun goes down. There is no better reflection for enhancing your appreciation for your living experience.

It is said, that this life of yours, is what you chose and where you chose to be. You will experience losses and watch yourself grieving and others comforting you. This is your play, and your performance, and grief is one of its many scenes. You need perform it to a natural, respectful, and peaceful conclusion.

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