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Grief – And How I Have Handled It

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Grief is the dark areas and shadows of your life. Your masterpiece is not complete without grief. Newton’s third law, for every action there is an equal an opposite reaction, applies here.  Therefore, for every darkness in your life, there is something equally as bright. Grief may propel you in the direction of light. If your masterpiece lacks dark parts, it becomes flat. Reality is not flat!

What is Grief? – It’s Different for Everyone

Identified by ElisabethKübler-Ross and David Kessler in their book “On Grief and Grieving”, there are five stages for the grief of a loved one. 

  1. Denial
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance

Everyone handles grief differently. This list gives us a starting place to identify some of our emotions. I’m not very good with grief myself. I should have my own Kleenex and learn to carry dark glasses to every funeral I attend. Now, as for my own experiences here goes:

My First Experience – I Was Just Curious

The first funeral I attended was my great-grandmother’s. Dad explained, in the car to my grandmother’s house, that my great-grandmother was very old and had lived a long life. Her body was at my grandmother’s house in Guiltedge for the wake. I don’t remember feeling much except a sense of curiosity.

Was This Grief?- I Was Devistated

The worse feeling I ever had over a death was when Dad told me that a boy in my class died. However, I didn’t know the boy very well, but his death devastated me. I think I was in the fifth grade. He sat behind me and pulled my braids. There is a statue called “Emptiness” that does a fairly good job of depicting how I felt at the moment Dad told me about his death. The statue is meant to depict a parent’s loss of a child. I felt a sudden rush of something that would never be. Just an emptiness; a hole. The way he died didn’t help either. His Dad was in the dairy business. Somehow, his arm was cut off at the dairy. This was part of the life of living in the country.

Grief – How Do I Handle It?

At Andy’s Atoka General Store several things happened that meant I would need to be able to deal with death. A young man who delivered to us as a vendor died one day in what I remember as a vehicle accident. Andy was a volunteer fireman. His descriptions of people passing away were almost too much for me to handle. One day someone knocked on the door. It was one of the boys that worked for us. His sister’s baby had died. I just stood there speechless. In other words, I had no idea what to do. But I was so sorry.

Now This Was Grief in Others

I have two sons. Each of them had someone in their class die at school. Above all, although they were older than I was when I experienced a death in my class, I just wanted to take their pain away. But I knew I couldn’t. I knew they would have to go through it. There was nothing I could do to relieve the mental agony.

Agonizing Grief When A Loved One Dies

My most agonizing experience, Dad died. This couldn’t be happening. Why did he leave me here? It’s not really happening. OK, he’s gone. I went through the whole range of emotions. I remember that before he died, I saw him every day for the last few years of his life. That was good. But it made it hard when he was gone. I became super protective of Mom. She couldn’t go, too!

The same year as my Dad, my husband’s best friend passed away. Much later, my husband’s Mother died. Then after losing my Mother-in-law, my friend from college passed away.

I have many friends that have lost their children – a seemingly impossible situation. The best advice from them is to let them talk about it. They want to remember their children and are happy that you do, too.

Acceptance of My Own Weird Lack of Survival Potential

I didn’t mention all of the deaths in my life. As you get older the numbers begin to mount. Everyone has a story. I hope this has helped with your masterpiece. Don’t be afraid of the shadows and the dark spaces. They make everything else glow brighter and your life becomes more real.

Let grief become part of your masterpiece.

by Stephanie

Video About How to Tune in to the Good (by an expert – Lucy Hone)

These are doable strategies to help you be more resilient. “Don’t diminish the negative but also” tune “into the good.”

  1. “Find Things to be Grateful for” (Benefit Finding)
  2. “Think of three good things…each day.” “Accept the Good.” “Hunting the Good Stuff.” (“Make an Intentional, Deliberate, Ongoing, Effort to Tune into What’s Good in Your World”.)
  3. “Is what I’m doing Helping or Harming Me”? Ask yourself, “Is what I’m doing benefiting me“?

Thank you, Lucy Hone!

Video of Celebrities Discussing Their Grief

There is no “moving on” from grief. It becomes a part of who you are.

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