Grief has no feelings but pain. It shows no emotion but heartache. It attacks the old, the young, the weak and the strong. It descends upon the rich, the poor, the good and the bad. It shows no favoritism. It gives no warning. Grief arrives in many forms. It may be the death of a loved one, the betrayal of a trust, the destruction of a relationship or the loss of a lifestyle. The purpose of grief is obvious. It is determined to destroy whatever is left of our once peaceful and productive lives. Its goal is to enslave and control us. It wants to dictate our actions, our thoughts and our feelings. The effects of grief are comparable to wounds inflicted by any physical, emotional or mental injury. It attacks our memory, our feelings and even the joints and muscles of our body. Then, just when we’ve hit bottom physically, spiritual confusion sets in. Doubts begin to arise about the truths we’ve always believed in. Why did this happen? Is God really good like I’ve always believed? The questions are overwhelming and the answers seemingly never come. We must not let grief win. First, we must manage to heal from the wounds.
Healing enables us to survive. You have to stop the bleeding and stabilize the wound. In the first few weeks, months … and sometimes years … after a major grief event all you are doing is basically trying to heal. The unfortunate part is that many, many grievers never get all the way through this stage. For many others that do they stop there. They fail to go on to the next phase which allows them to not just heal … but overcome the lasting scars left by their loss.
Overcoming allows us to move forward. Grieving is a journey not a destination. It’s a multi chapter book and healing was only the first chapter. The next stage of overcoming allows us to make something out of the tragedy that we’ve endured. You start overcoming when you take the ashes of what’s left and begin to build something that you would never have dreamed about before. Instead of concentrating on the scars and the painful memories you turn them into building materials for the life sculpture you are working on. It’s in the sculpture of your life that we see how victory over grief is truly won.
Victory empowers us to take that which was intent on our destruction and turn it into our destiny. We must exchange our tragedy for an opportunity to rise to a level higher than we could ever have imagined before. Whenever you endure, survive and overcome a tragic grief event then you have traveled down a road that others must follow. The ultimate act of conquest over grief is when you guide someone else down the road that you have walked before … the journey through grief.
We encourage you to browse through our website, read through the articles and take advantage of all the resources. Let us help you, and in turn help others, conquer this enemy of grief.
Norm Standfield, GC-C, GCCA-C