Today, as I sit here and watch the news coverage on the terrorist attack of October 31, 2017, which took place in New York, my heart feels sad.
The coverage centers around how we Americans are slowly going back to our normal lives. In less than 24 hours, we are “getting back to normal” There is news coverage about everyone who attended the Halloween Parade, and how people taking their kids back to school. The words “getting back to normal” have been repeated a hundred times this morning.
The conflict that I am feeling centers around the fact that 8 people died, and we have to stop for a minute and understand that. These people had families. They had friends. They were loved. They were a part of our human kind. Our brothers and sisters. My heart truly hurts when I understand how quickly we chose to move on.
I do understand that it is important to not allow the terrorists to control our minds. That we show them that we are America Strong. That we do not allow them into our minds, our daily routines. We let them see that they cannot break us. This, I do understand. But it does not lessen the pain in my heart.
I remember when Austin died and I had a similar feeling of pain. I was thinking how fast everyone around me were going back to work. How my friends went back to their lives. They were no longer calling to check on us. Their lives moved on, but I was left with this pain. I can remember looking at people and thinking, “Do you know that my nephew just died?” “Do you know that I am in pain?” This is sometimes a secondary grief to the original loss.
I have sat with couples that struggle with the thought of one half moving on too fast. Or that the other spouse is not moving on fast enough.
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As a griever, I know that most people don’t know how to grieve properly. If they were anything like me, they would not have even thought about grief until forced to face with their own personal loss. I am reminded of having friends who wondered why I was still upset after Austin’s death, mostly because they had never experienced emotional pain associated with a loss.
Our friends and family tend to provide less support than we expect from them. This is something that we, as Grief Recovery Specialist, hear from grievers on a regular basis. There are multiple reasons why this is the case.
The most obvious one is that most of them have had little or no education in how to deal with their own loss. That being the case, it is difficult for them to offer any more assistance than suggesting things similar to the misinformation of:
⦁ Don’t feel Bad
⦁ Just give it time
⦁ Time will heal your pain
⦁ Keep Busy. Go back to work
When we experience a new loss, it will start to bring up all other grief issues that are still present from past losses. If you have not taken steps to move on and overcome these grief experiences, they will stay with you no matter how hard you try to suppress those feelings. It is not uncommon to start dealing with current loss, and past ones as well.
This does not mean that your situation is hopeless and that all this growing grief will be with you forever. You can take real action to move past this pain. This will help you to enjoy the little things around you as well as allow you to not feel pain while thinking of fond memories of the past.
Grief is a normal and natural reaction to any change you experience in life. You don’t need to be “fixed” to feel better. You simply need to be shown the way and given instructions on how to “recover.” You do not need to move on too quickly or be upset when others choose to move on.
The tools that you will need to recover are what I teach in my 8-week educational class at A Time to Grieve. Please feel free to reach out to me for a Free 30 Minute Mini Session.
About Sharon Brubaker
Grief is individual and unique for every person. A person’s relationship to each aspect of their life is also unique. As such, the feelings and thoughts each person will have about the relationship that has been altered by death, divorce, or other reasons requires customized attention using proven skills and understanding.