Processing the Pain from Grief

Most of us have never truly been taught how to talk about grief, which makes it so much more challenging when we experience a grief event in our lives.  Sharon and I have noticed that there are three options that a griever has when they are grieving.  They will either choose to resist, react or avoid their feelings.

I am no exception to this, and I want to share about how I tried to resist and avoid the pain I was feeling after Donovan died.  I was so angry when Donovan passed away, I refused to allow myself to feel the pain from my grief. I was engaging in mind numbing behaviors such as over sleeping, over drinking and isolating myself from my closest friends. 

I wasn’t even being honest with Sharon about how bad I was feeling.  I had a script prepared whenever someone would ask me about my feelings so that I would be able to avoid being honest about how bad I was truly feeling.

I honestly felt as though I was dying inside.  My pain was so dark and so heavy it felt as though I was never going to experience joy again.  I would plaster a fake smile on my face and would basically act my way through every social encounter we had after Donovan died.

When we lost Austin, he was only ten years old, so our relationship was purely that of a mother and child.  However, when Donovan died, he was a young adult and our relationship although was that of a mother and child had started to shift and we had become friends as well.  We had inside jokes, favorite TV shows that we watched together, and we talked on the phone just about every day.  What I didn’t realize about grieving him was that I wasn’t only grieving a child I was grieving a friend as well.

You cannot get over the pain that is a true misconception, you have to go through the pain to get to the other side, which is recovery.  As soon as I started to allow myself to feel the pain and the tears to come, I started healing.  I also had to tell my truth about how bad I was feeling and not hide from my real feelings. 

Processing the pain from grief means allowing yourself to feel the pain, honestly communicating about how bad it feels and taking action.  You have to be an active participant in your grief and come to your own aide because there is no one out there who can save you.  You have to be your own hero. ~ Erica