The journey of grief continued…

Anger/Resentment/Criticism show up and this intense energy is often feared.  We do not see it as a gift and how it is valuable but rather as a socially unacceptable feeling.  Why?  Most of us do not handle this intense feeling of anger well. Our skill set may be limited or past experiences have not had peaceful outcomes when anger is involved. These disempowering outcomes perhaps have done more damage than good to relationships and from here comes our fear of this intense energy. Yet if we think about it, this gift of the energizing power of anger when utilized correctly and in civilized ways is what we need to pull us out of the panic pit or the depressed mode. We need it to make the changes necessary in our life to move us forward to reorganize and redesign our life. How else do we get this energy, when we have been de-energized by our loss? It naturally comes as part of the journey.  Anger can narrow our focus to take action. Yet if we misunderstand and misuse the gift, we can get a hardened heart and hurt others as well and stay stuck in this venom that indeed can poison us and our health. In anger we can find courage to move on.  It is a good tool when in good hands guided by a good head. But then as we move on we feel the strings of guilt.

Guilt is normal when we have done or failed to do something, it becomes unhealthy when it is out of proportion to our involvement in the situation. Yet we will feel that sense of remorse… why should I go on without what I lost, why me, what did I do wrong or not do? I have no right to go on.  It might mean I do not care anymore. How do we keep memories alive? But if we have experienced forgiveness and acceptance we can easily admit the guilt and let it go.  Unresolved guilt can make us miserable for years.  But if we move on, how do we return when we can’t go back?

We Resist Returning to life as usual as it is difficult, demanding and unpredictable.  The familiar feels safer and oftentimes we would rather get stuck on grief than face a new world and decisions. Many out there do not let us grieve and we feel as if grief is out of place in their world and we are left to carry it alone inside ourselves…no one wants to talk about the loss anymore, yet we still carry it. Everyone forgets our loss, but we are still living the ramifications of all the changes in our life. But thankfully, a thread of hope can keep us moving forward if we do not despair.

Hope shines through since we are human and need the warm affection and encouragement of those around us.  It makes it easier to let go of our unrealistic attitude of wanting to shut the world out and all the opportunists for meaning again…not replace, just play again, just participate in the dance of life again. And this new chapter and beginning is not a sign of disloyalty to any of our past or any person of the past. But we will never be the same again.

We Embrace Reality as a wiser, stronger person. We can never be our old self again…it is not possible. We have grown through this journey and are different and changed.  Yet depending on how we responded or coped we will be stronger or weaker, healthier in spirit or diminished.  Those coping with less healthy ways never really work through their grief. Those of us with a healthy faith and healthy coping can be there for others who face similar losses as we are helped by the deepest conviction that we were not alone then and will not be in the future.  We did not do it alone; there was a higher power, God, after all.  Under the duress, greatness was sculpted in the interior chamber of our being and the rays of sun come through the dark clouds that have been inside our hearts. We may continue to struggle, but we can affirm the gift of life and go on living.  Because life is the gift and one day we will meet the end of our earthly journey.  Each loss in our life well grieved will prepare us for the ultimate loss…our very own life.  Grieve well to live and love well.

Remember the journey is unique to each one, but a roadmap helps us to keep moving and not get stuck way past what is a healthy resolution to our losses and grief. Love life and give it your best.  We only have this time now.

 

Maria Hilda Pinon, author of The Willows of Corona, a novel, and Candles in the Dark…poems to grieve, hope and love again.

 www.mariahildapinon.com

 

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