Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Bereavement, Grief and Knowledge

No amount of knowledge can prepare us for bereavement. Grief is the most intense and enduring emotion we can experience. No quick fix. No short-cut. An ancient African saying is “There is no way out of the desert except through it.” Knowledge of the grief process gives us a very generalized map of the terrain we have to cover. Each of us will take a different route. Each will choose his own landmarks. We will all travel at our own unique speed and will navigate using the tools provided by our culture, experience, and faith. In the end, we will be forever changed by this journey.

Knowledge helps us avoid the major pitfalls of grief. A knowledge of what is known of grief assures us that we have not lost all sense of sanity. When we find ourselves feeling befuddled in a mist shrouded swamp we can say “It’s OK. This too is part of my journey. Others have gone this way before me and I will survive. I am human.”

As each day passes and as we all explore and understand our loss, the pain, sadness and depth of our grief will diminish in frequency and intensity. During our journey through grief, the most important tool we have for recovery is to talk with accepting, understanding and trusted family, friends and others about our loss. Know that talking about those who have died is very healthy and allows us overcome and continue through the journey versus becoming stuck…

Most of all remember: "Grief is not a sign of weakness, nor loss of faith, it is simply the price of our love for another human being".

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