Good Grief…Time Heals?
Last year I was going through divorce and experienced some of the heartfelt emotions and sadness related to letting go and moving on. In that process I decided to research grieving both for my own sake and to have a better understanding of the families I serve through providing the white dove releases. What I discovered was that I had this preconceived misconception that “time heals all”. What I learned was that grieving, like healing, is personal and individual and that no two people experience it exactly alike. And I learned that grief can have a lifelong negative effect on our capacity for happiness.
I also discovered some of the most common incorrect ideas that you may have been influenced to believe about dealing with sad, painful, and and negative emotions are as follows:
- Don’t feel bad – can someone else really tell us how we should feel?
- Replace the loss – do you think if we just grab on to something else, we will somehow feel better?
- Grieve alone – who ever said we need to do this all alone? and why?
- Time heals all wounds – one of the biggest misconceptions because it’s not how much time passes but what we do with that time to heal.
- Be strong – how did being strong and sucking it up really ever help in the long run?
- Keep busy – maybe if we just keep busy, we won’t have to feel anything and that will somehow help.
We may all know someone who for whatever reason is still grieving maybe years or decades after having loss someone. For whatever reason they have not been able to embrace moving on. However they, like anyone, can begin to embrace the process of healing when they are ready to and there is a lot of help and information available to help them.
One book I found to be very helpful is called The Grief Recovery Handbook, The Action Program for Moving Beyond Death, Divorce, and Other Losses…including Health, Career, and Faith by John W. James and Russel Friedman, founders of the Grief Recovery Institute and authors of When Children Grieve. This book gives you a step by step method for recovering from grief and regaining energy and spontaneity and provides specific actions needed to move beyond loss.
Come to find out, grieving is not just about time after all, it’s about what we do with that time.