Grief is different for each of us. One size does not fit all.
How Grief Appears
The appearance of grief is also different for everyone. Sometimes grief may appear as anger, physical pain, sleeplessness, fear, depression, hostility, or loneliness. While some of us may grieve and look inwards at what we’ve lost, others may look to blame; they may also look to question what they believe. Belief is very much interlinked with grief.
Many people think that having a belief means their loved ones wouldn’t get sick and die, particularly true for people whose loved ones pass early. But good people and bad people alike struggle with ill health, ill health they may recover from, ill health that shows as disease and is sometimes terminal.
But it is important to understand life and to know that emotions do play a part in longevity. The more we talk about how we feel, the more we may let go of the things that can hurt and change our destiny.
People may sometimes turn away from their beliefs through the grieving process, but for those who were less believing, sometimes losing a loved-ones, shapes how and what they believe moving forward, as they turn to a belief system to get them through.
Not Everyone Copes Well
Not everyone copes well with the grieving process. That is often determined by their upbringing, but the degree to which someone feels supported, safe and non-judged will determine how they will come through the grief process and how much emotion they show. Not everyone feels comfortable showing others how they feel. Instead, they may choose to do it on their own.
Having been through the process myself, it helps to be able to reveal oneself, being open and transparent is important in any healing process. We’re human, the human response is to cry, and while it is always good to cry, it may not always bring the required result.
Getting to our Emotions
It is important to get to the bottom of our emotions because that will always allow our emotions to surface, revealing how we really feel underneath. Bottling anything up can cause illness, such as a cough and a cold, or sometimes it can cause a terminal illness such as cancer. I have seen loved ones die of cancer three times.
As we contemplate the fragility of life, looking at our loved ones fighting to cling to life, it highlights our own fragility, our own mortality and where we are, not only with them, but where we are in our lives also.
Grief is Time for Reflection
For me, grief is a time for reflection. Although reflection is a tool, it may be something we visit in times of grief, more than at any other time. In our busy lives we may not always use reflection. Having lost my twin to cancer in December 2022, I continue to visit my own spiritual beliefs that continue to keep me grounded, as well as help me to understand the grieving process and what happens when our loved ones pass. I was drawn to spirituality from a very early age.
As I watched my twin fight for every breath, I quietly reflect and explore our life together in those moments. As the conversation continued, we talked about the things that mattered to her and we agreed on some of our experiences together. I talk about spirituality, which is something we both believed in, which she was keen to hear and talk about and she says, ‘thank you.’
Read more by Ilana at www.thecpdiary.com
Read Ilana elsewhere on Open to Hope: https://www.opentohope.com/losing-a-loved-one-makes-you-grow-up/