The word “grief” brings the impression of negativity, like when you are supposed to act, feel or think a certain way.  This continues through the time line that is created by other’s thoughts around us that have lost someone.  It is almost like grievers are the ones being directed on stage by an unknown force.

But my contention is that grief would be much better explained by the phrase, “moments of remembrance.” Think about it, we would no longer be caught in the trap of society’s control-conscious, albeit good intentions, of the word grief.

Moments of remembrance completely frees us to create the pictures in our head that we need to traverse through the mine fields of emotions that always come in over time.  Just a little change in semantics gives us all the freedom to move away from the negative side of the word and truly focus on what will lead down the healing path.

If we stay in the moments of remembrance, society will no longer put us in that box of grief that it feels is its obligation.  Instead, it will allow all of us to take the course of action that is best for us and in our own time frame with less interference by ego and the good intenders.

Changing a word seems so easy, but what it really brings you is the freedom to grieve the way you want to.  The journey is yours, so if a change in words helps, why not try it.  It is hard to think of these things while you are in the process, so I understand the simple-minded approach to saying this.

When we are in the grief process, it is hard to function not only from a physical, mental, and emotional level, but to think of other things to add would be virtually be impossible.  In one respect, we want to grieve because it is our right of passage.  On the other hand, we don’t know how to do grieve in a way that would conform to our own morals let alone to the world at large.  It is easy to come up with suggestions on the grieving process after the fact. We humans learn well after we have experienced something.

The only helpful suggestion that I can pass on after being through my own grieving events, is that I don’t want others to suffer as much as I seemed too. If we can pass it on so to speak and help others on their own journeys by offering simple ways that might make their journey a little less painful, then I believe any suggestion is good.

If a change in wording allows someone to focus on the good memories and it brings comfort to their being by staying away from a negative word like “grief,” then so be it.  In times of loss for me, remembering the moments allowed me to take that step forward and meet another day with the hope that the horizon would bring a day of brighter colors and a new journey.

Mike Russell

Having grown up in the Air Force in the 50's and 60's, I was able to travel with my family around the world to various bases which opened my mind to the issues affecting people. I grew up in Arizona after my dad retired. I got married in 1975 and was married for 34 years, during which I graduated from Oregon State University and went to work in banking. After the death of my wife in 2009, and through the opening up of my senses during the grief process, I wrote poetry, created a blog, wrote a book and reconnected with my best friend. We created a business called T Michael Healing Arts in Beaverton Oregon after being married. As a business, we serve the Holistic crowd, put on classes, and workshops, as well as attend various fairs around the Northwest. We have two books out at the moment, and contribute monthly articles to the Sedona Journal of Emergence. My journey in grief through all the deaths in my own family has brought me to the point where I became a certified grief counselor, minister, and have written a book on my spiritual journey through grief, as well as many articles on the subject. My goal is to help as many people as possible through their own grief journeys by telling them my story and supporting them with the hope that there are others out there that will support and understand them, and that it is possible to come out of the fog in one piece.

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