Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Dealing with Grief

I'm not an expert on grief by any means, but I see enough grief being experienced by my clients and of course I've had my own share of grief. I lost a loved one more than 13 years ago, and I thought I was dealing with the sadness and loss very well (i.e stuff it down and don't think about it). But then a video surfaced and seeing him and hearing his voice again brought back all the pain, sorrow and profound loss. This has shocked me, but it's a good reminder for a medium who sees grief all the time.

Grief never ends. We just learn ways to get through it. When a tragedy strikes, I often hear people say, "I don't know how she gets up in the morning" Or "How will he get over this?" And I always answer with: "He won't. He'll learn to get through it." There's a big difference. You never get over a loss.

Some things that have helped me deal with my grief are to memorialize my loved ones through stories, planting a special tree, getting a tattoo, and keeping pictures around. I also talk to them -- a lot. And I ask for signs in return. It's very helpful. None of this cures the grief or ends it. But it does help me get through it -- day by day by day.

If you know someone going through a difficult loss, don't be afraid to ask them about it. Check out my good friend Deb Bowen's book A Good Friend for Bad Times. Here's the link. No matter how much time has passed, remember to ask your grandmother about her husband. Make sure you write your aunt on your deceased cousin's birthday. Even if it's been twenty years, ask your dad to tell you stories about his dad. Grief never ends; it endures as long as the time it takes until we see them again. But as a very wise woman once said to me, "The only way to get through grief is to talk. Have a witness to your pain."

I also think it helps to know that even though we can't see them, hear them or touch them, they are here. Right here. Reading this right along with you.

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