The Hidden Truth About Grief
How Many Have Experienced Grief
Have you ever experienced loss?
- What is grief? Grief is an expressed emotion of loss. It manifest itself in a large variety of differentiating ways. Grief has always been a form of sadness, and also sadness is a form of grief. The two are so intricately intertwined, it makes it hard to differentiate between the two during certain events in life.
- It has no time frame,
- No set of rules, and
- No unwritten terms to agree on.
- Grief can even be timeless.
My Survivor's Story
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There is more information on the different stages of grief but, not much information is from a survivor's perspective. In two personally authored HubPages articles, I intimately detail my own life struggles. To briefly summarize my own trials and tribulations concerning loss, and then the period of grief that soon followed that loss; in September, 2004 my husband took his own life at my place of work. He hung himself, and I found him. From the date of September 16th, 2004 on up to the present day; I have been dealing with grief on a daily basis, due to a variety of reasons. Like I wrote before, grief and loss can manifest itself in a large variety of ways. During this time period:
- I have lost my close family members
- Lost and changed careers
- Rebuilt a new family twice and failed
- Lost friends and, compiled a new set of friendships. (Which were not that the healthiest of friendships either.)
- My son and I have moved seven times- four times in one year.
- I have been in a mental institution three times.
- I ran myself into deep credit card debit.
- Lost my home and retirement savings.
- Spent my son's college tuition.
- It has been a crazy, bumpy ride.
I include this information for one reason. That reason is to set the tone of this article. Another important thing to constantly keep in mind is that your way of dealing with grief- is entirely your own. Grief will always be individually unique to the person experiencing it. I don't know how many times my family would compare me, to somebody else who had had a similar situation as mine and would say, "Well, 'so-and-so' seems just fine, and they did this or they did that...." The best thing for you to do when put into that situation is to say to your family members or friends,
Important Tips From the Author
Grief is unique to the individual whose life has been impacted the most. A person experiencing grief owes nobody any excuses, as to why they feel this way. People who the ones who declare that they love you the most, usually are the people the least supportive. Family members rather counteract with an argument or rebuttal of some kind, than to think of what impact grief is having on a person. Counteracting arguments feel like personal attacks, when a person is grieving. Which then only negates the issues of what is really effecting the family. It is so vitally important that you learn quickly, how to put yourself first regardless of love ones good or bad intentions, comments, experiences, etc.
I cannot stress this fact enough,
- Grief is entirely unique to you. It's all you. You own it, and you will have to live it, in order to survive it. People tend to forget that only the person feeling their grief, knows what the pain feels like to that person. People have different tolerances to pain, and experience any type of pain at different levels. I could not get my own family to realize that. There was no way to understand the expressed, indescribable language of my grief. However, my horrific choices during that time period, and erratic behavior was the voice for me. There were these times in my life that my pain was so unbearable..., that, I did not know if even God, could understand my gut-wrenching, soul-splitting, pain! How does someone explain that to a person, who is outside of that person, looking in from a distance. They cannot!
It is okay to be like that!
- There are no rules to grief. Grief is unique to you! You are not a textbook, for some doctor to read. You are not a number, and you are not another case. You are a person, surviving grief the best way you know how, and get this..., that's okay!
When I finally realized that for the first time, a whole new world opened up to me, and soon I woke up with the realization that I was going to be okay. That I was not going crazy because of this loss, and that I was not insane for feeling so much pain. I am incapable of 'nipping and tucking' my emotions away.
My family only added to my stress and anxiety. Since they also played a major role in my husband's death, and placing blame on me as to why he killed himself; yeah..., it was definitely a blessing, when I finally went my separate way. The only one who can determine what you feel, is YOU. In my case that was unacceptable for my family to deal with and I paid a dear price. There are people though out here who will dedicate the necessary time and energy that it takes for you survive Step A on move on to the next phase.
David Kessler's - How to deal with grief.
It is Just An Event
Another important aspect, in which I had to teach myself; was that grief was ONLY an event. The period of loss associated with grief, has a beginning and it has an ending. It is only an event. When I learned to how to simplify my grief in that form, it helped the seconds of the day, turn into minutes and minutes into days. I think the motto of Alcoholic Anonymous says it best, "Take it one day at a time."
There were times I had to remind myself to breathe. I would hold my breath to hear the sound of my heart beat. The rhythmic "thump, thump, thump" of my heartbeat, sometimes, was my only reminder of what it felt to be alive inside. Then there were those seconds that I didn't want to breathe again. It is now almost a decade later, and I am surviving grief. I have stopped crying, I have completely changed my life around in a productive and positive way. I went back to school. I have started a new career and my son is going to college himself soon. More importantly, I hurt a lot less with each second of every passing day.