Grieving can be a confusing process. It’s not as simple as feeling sad, it’s actually a lot of emotions all mixed up. Sorrow, guilt, freedom, anger, fear, relief … these are just a few of the feelings that we may experience. It’s not even as simple as someone dying. We grieve many things in our lifetime. Moving, the death of a pet, retirement, the end of an addiction, a loss of trust and the end of a marriage or a relationship are all moments in which we experience grief.
In 2007, my father passed away right after Father's Day. It took time for me to be at peace with myself since he drove hundreds of miles to celebrate Father's Day with me — and ended up having a heart attack. Since then, I have learned to deal with the loss of my dad and how to honor him on Father's Day.
Dear Dr. Romance: What Is The Grieving Process? What are the stages of the grieving process? Dear Reader: If you've had a personal loss, I am sorry that you have to go through it. The traditional stages of grieving, developed by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, are Denial (or shock), Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. How long it takes depends on how big the loss is.
Audrey Pott, Rehtaeh Parsons, Martin Richard from the Boston Marathon bombing and other children like them should not have their lives reduced to the headlines surrounding their tragic deaths. And yet, how can these parents cope with the deaths of their children and come to a sense of peace?
In the eight months since my husband's sudden death, I made it through the first Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine's Day and Easter. For each one, I had friends and family in place to spend time with. The last thing on my mind was the need to be prepared for grieving around the "first" tax preparation.
Women who have had abortions may not feel entitled to grieve the loss of their unborn children. After all, they rationalize, you shouldn't be permitted to grieve over a loss you have chosen to create. And so, putting the missing pieces together can be confusing and overwhelming for them.
We live in two worlds: the external and internal. Our external world is a reflection of our internal world. Many of us choose to ignore this until we’re given a wake-up call that we’re not happy or satisfied with the cards dealt: our marriages fall apart, we are faced with illness, we lose our job, we cannot find a long term relationship, or we get passed over again at work. Understanding that our internal world drives what happens to us in the “real” world is the first step to overcoming and rising above the lessons we need to learn in this lifetime.
It's unthinkable that when you send your child off to school you would ever receieve a call such as those parents in Newtown, CT did on December 14th. It's a parents worst nighmare. My heart aches for those families, as I know everyone's does. As a parent or one who works with children, you may face difficult questions. It is important that you address the topic with your child even if they don't bring it up - they most definitely have heard about it.
This morning, as I was driving around trying to find a gas station that was both open and didn't have a three-hour long line, I started thinking about Hurricane Sandy and the devastation left in her wake. Normally, I only see natural disasters on the news, but this time, I had to look no further than outside the window of my home to witness Sandy's impact first-hand.
The grieving process can be a powerful catalyst for our spiritual awakening. When we experience loss, such as the death of a loved one, we long for the connection we once had. We long for what was that isn’t anymore. In our longing, we are invited to surrender and let go of control of how we think life should have turned out. We are invited into a deeper relationship with the Divine as we let go and trust the great mystery of life.
Recently, I received news that my 97-year-old Grammie was on hospice and dying after a fall from her wheelchair. Even though she was old and I knew her time on earth was coming to an end, I was still heart broken. I wanted one last chance to see her. While driving to her assisted living home, I went over and over in my mind the things I wanted to express to her…how her life had made a huge impact on so many, what an amazing person she was, how much I loved her. I felt sick to my stomach and had a lump in my throat as I didn’t know what to expect.
Anger is such a difficult emotion for so many of us to express. Women, especially, are taught that anger is ugly and we are bitchy if we complain or vent about feeling upset. Afraid of our anger and what it might appear like, we tend to hold it in and repress it. Simmering inside of us, it either turns into depression and we take it out on ourselves through addiction or eating poorly, etc, or it erupts like a volcano and comes out sideways and squirrely, not how we intended.
Going through a divorce can be similar to experiencing the death of a loved one. Sometimes it is quick and sudden or slow and gradual. In any case, the person you dreamed about growing old with is no longer a part of your everyday life. This is a huge loss no matter how dysfunctional the relationship was. Not only have you lost your life companion, but your sense of security, financial stability, parenting partner, and much more.
None of us wants to think about it, but the standard definition of a totally successful relationship is the old, traditional “til death do us part.” Any time we love, whether it’s a life partner, a dear friend, a child, a sibling, a parent or even a beloved pet, we are risking the loss of that love.
Dr. Gayle (affectionately known as Kayla Gayle), a colleague of mine, amazes me with her inner peace and strength. At lunch with her this past week I discussed the passion that she has for Kundalini Yoga, and her recent decision to become an instructor of Kundalini. Her website, Abundance-Yoga.com, describes the practice as, “Yoga is not about twisting yourself into a pretzel or standing on your head, but about nurturing your spirit, and freeing your heart…when Kundalini awakens, your entire life will awaken with abundance, energy, creativity and more.”