When the ‘U’ Word Is Missing, Grievers Suffer

Letter U against gray textured backgroundGrief is messy and confusing.  It’s all-consuming.  And it’s unlike anything else you’ve been through.  Here’s where the ‘U’ word comes in.  When the ‘U’ word is missing grievers suffer, and their loved ones do, too.

Can you guess what the ‘U’ word is? 

How about ‘understanding’?  When grievers (and their loved ones) do not understand grief, no one will escape the effects of their lack of understanding—and grief will be more difficult for all concerned.

About Grief

Grief is tough all by itself.  But when you have no idea what’s happening to you or around you because of grief – and you have no idea what to expect from grief – your road becomes much rockier.

I’m convinced that grief is a stranger to all who have not worked their way through a deep loss.  You don’t understand grief from a distance.  You only understand it from the inside out. 

Grief is not predictable.  A fitting description of grief is that it’s a tangled mess of emotions.  And lots of ups and downs.  Grief holds the power to make you feel like a stranger to yourself. 

Why Understanding Matters

When you’re simply trying to cope with the pain of grief – yet, at the same time, you’re trying to understand what grief is and how it works – you have twice the load to deal with. 

If the friends and loved ones around you do not understand grief either, they will say and do things that hurt and aggravate you.  They won’t know how to support you.  And they’ll be pressing you toward actions that may lessen their discomfort, but do not support your healing journey.  In all fairness to them, they just may not know any better.  When this happens, everyone suffers.  And grief is prolonged for the griever.

Isolation is a typical consequence of grief.  It’s often easier to be alone than to deal with people who don’t understand – and who try to push you in the direction they think is best.  It’s likely the wrong direction.

Grief is lonely.  Some of the people around you will distance themselves, but even when you’re with a group of loved ones, you may feel alone and lonely.  Grief can do this.

Understanding grief is important.  I’d go so far as to say that it’s crucial for your well-being.

Without understanding, you won’t know what to do to work toward healing.  You won’t know what’s normal.  You’ll probably think you’re going crazy.  And you won’t realize the ‘grief’ path is not straight. 

Understanding Grief Makes a Difference

Becoming discouraged is more likely when you don’t know what to expect.  When you understand grief, you’ll recognize that even if you feel as though you’re taking two steps forward and one step back, you are moving slowly ahead. 

We will all face grief because it’s an inevitable part of life and love. 

When we make the effort to understand grief, we are helping ourselves and the loved ones around us.  It’s a worthwhile effort …

© 2017 Judy Brizendine

Photo credit:  Dmitri Popov, unsplash.com

Related reading:

Understanding the Grief Process – Marty Tousley, griefhealing.com

Understanding Grief and Loss: An Overview – Healgrief.org

Understanding Grief – hopeforthebrokenhearted.com

About Judy

"Out of your deepest pain comes your greatest gift." Judy writes about grief and loss in a realistic, practical way - to help, inspire, encourage, and educate any who face loss in their lives. A fellow-traveler's approach to grief ...

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2 Responses to “When the ‘U’ Word Is Missing, Grievers Suffer”

  1. Judy, my friend, I couldn’t agree with you more! Brava! ♥