4 Steps to Grieve Healthily
Change is inevitable. We can’t avoid change as much as we may like to. Kids grow older, the job market shifts, relationships drift apart, physical health breaks down. What worked for you yesterday may not yield the same successes today. Such is life.
Task 1: Accept the reality of the loss
- You must confront your own denial that part of your life is gone. Your life has changed, but that’s okay. You can’t move until you face reality.
Task 2: Experience the pain of grief
- For whatever reason, we are afraid to feel in our culture. We take pills, distract ourselves with entertainment and generally avoid discomfort, but this isn’t helping us. This is compounding our pain. Experience the pain of what you have lost. It is the only way for you to actualize the reality of what has happened.
Task 3: Adjust to an environment with the “deceased” missing
- Life is not the same now that your marriage has ended, your friend has moved away or your work has laid you off. You must find a new normal. Don’t try to recreate what you had. Take what’s in front of you and work with that.
Task 4: Find an enduring connection with the “deceased” while embarking on a new life
- Even though that part of you is gone and irretrievable as a result of the change, it is still part of who you are. Memories are the foundation of your identity. Cherish what you have lost while moving forward.
Notice these aren’t stages implying that grief is something that you are carried through. Each task requires effort, work and engagement. You must be the driver in your grieving process. Engaging in the hard work of these four tasks allows you to move forward.