photo and text by Jan McDaniel
Hand-in-hand with shock and confusion, pain covers us after loss. It cuts us to the core...but I believe it is an integral and necessary part of healing. In other words, there is no way around it, but allowing yourself to feel it and work through it is the basis of positive grief work.
Abigail Adams wrote in a letter to her husband, John, after learning of the death of their friend, "My bursting heart must find vent at my pen." Fast forward a couple of hundred years and you will find us doing the same. Grief is so big we have to find some way to release it. Yet this pain can only be released a little at a time.
Reading and posting in an online support group, letter or journal writing, speaking in person to someone who will allow us to talk and cry as often and as long as we need to, working with a counselor or local group...all of these allow the processing of our grief. Tears help release grief and trauma from our bodies, too, so it is okay to cry. I read once that tears from grief are different, chemically, from any other kind. Those chemicals need to exit the body. http://www.scienceiq.com/Facts/ScienceOfTears.cfm
When the pain lessons, when its tide of grief flows outward, what is left is what was under the pain all the time: the love we shared with those we lost. Pain doesn't last; love does.
Journal Prompt for today:
What is the most painful thing about losing your loved one? What do you need that might help you work through that pain?
Way for Hope
Losing someone you love is difficult, but it can mean a lot to hear from others traveling similar paths.
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Links of Value:
Alliance of Hope for Suicide Loss Survivors
National Alliance on Mental Illness
Word of God
"My Story" Big Daddy Weave
"Hope in Front of Me"
The Joy FM
Traumatic loss or preexisting conditions can worsen mental health. Use this info graphic to find help.
"Take Charge of Your Mental Health" - a free download from www.nami.org: