Be Good to Yourself — and Choose to Grieve

series of steps, open door in middle, closed door at top, passageway, light shining at topYou may be wondering what I’m really saying. Choose to grieve?

You’ve just been overwhelmed by a major loss. You feel powerless. You’re in agonizing pain. You don’t know what to do or think. And I’m urging you to choose to grieve. What do I mean?

At first, your pain will spread to nearly everything you see, think, and feel. Your thinking will likely be impaired and unfocused, and your concentration reduced. You won’t be in a position to consider and make logical decisions right away. However, don’t be overly concerned. This fuzzy state of mind will improve.

Your initial state of shock and disbelief is your body’s way of protecting you. Your loss is too difficult to absorb all at once, so your body and mind seem to enter into an ‘autopilot’ state. You’re able to function in a basic way, but at the same time, your body protects you from grasping all that is happening within and around you. Reality will hit soon enough.

Your grief time frame will be unique to you. Everyone progresses differently. The way you respond to grief and the amount of time you need depend on you. A number of factors work together to affect your grief experience, and some of them are your personality; gender; background and upbringing; support system; ability to adapt to change; and attitude.

Until some of your shock has faded and reality has started to settle in, the idea of choosing to grieve will not occur to you. You’re just trying to get through the day. However, at some point (and it’s different for everyone) you’ll begin to realize that you don’t want to stay where you are—and that getting yourself out of that place requires decisions and actions on your part.

When you reach the place where you realize you must take some steps to face your grief and work through it—because it won’t just go away on its own—you’ve hit a turning point. This is the time to decide to follow the actions that move you toward healing. This is what I mean by the words, ‘Be good to yourself — and choose to grieve.’

Ask yourself some questions. Do you need to find a way to move through your pain? Do you want peace in your life? Do you want to start living again? Do you want your future to be satisfying once again? Do you want to bring something good out of one of the most painful experiences of your life? Do you want to move forward in a positive way?

I hope you’ll choose to grieve. Grieving is the way to healing.

© 2012 Judy Brizendine

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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4 Responses to “Be Good to Yourself — and Choose to Grieve”

  1. Felecia Wong says:

    Thank you for this beautiful reminder, Judy!
    I chose to grieve and I am glad I did it …

    • admin says:

      I’m glad you made that choice, too, Felecia!

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog post and for caring enough to write such a kind comment. I appreciate your support.

      Warmly,
      Judy

  2. It is so well put – choosing to grieve. It is good to acknowledge that it is a healthy choice especially when we live in a culture that buries sorrow.

    • admin says:

      Thank you, Eleanor, for sharing your thoughts and for your kind words. I think we have to keep spreading the word that choosing to grieve is a healthy and necessary choice. You’re so right, we live in a culture where grief and sorrow are avoided. People don’t want to talk about grief, learn about grief, or acknowledge grief and allow people around them (or themselves) to grieve. Grieving carries such a negative connotation, and I’m troubled by that because it is the way to healing. We need to learn about grief before we’re faced with it.

      Warmly,
      Judy