Stop for a minute and think about your approach to grief. Do you face it like a cheetah, a turtle, or an ant?
Grief is a terribly important subject, yet it’s one that few give a great deal of thought to. It’s especially important because what you don’t know about grief can hurt you and the people around you. And it’s also something that everyone will face, sooner or later. Loss is part of each of our lives, and grief follows any significant loss.
Your approach to grief matters! When I was thinking about writing this article, I wondered what the fastest animal is, so I looked it up. The cheetah is the fastest animal on land, and it can run seventy miles per hour. Are you running as fast as you can to get through grief, or to try and escape from grief? In this case, the wisest answer to the question would not be the cheetah.
How about the turtle? We associate slowness with the turtle, but that’s not what I had in mind when I mentioned the turtle. The turtle has a built-in hiding place inside its shell. It can withdraw, ignore, and close away the outside world. Have you tried to escape from your grief rather than face it head-on? I hope not, because that is not the way to reach healing either.
Now, let’s talk about the ant. Even the Bible mentions the ant and calls it ‘unusually wise’ in the New Living Translation (Prov. 30:24-25). Ants aren’t strong, but they store up food for the winter. I’ll go on to say that the ant is persistent; it keeps on going without stopping; overcomes obstacles; and is focused on its task. We have all encountered the persistence of ants when they invade our homes and we’re trying to get rid of them! Ants also do not work solo. Grief is too hard to face completely alone.
Grief is a process. The idea is not to go around it, or sprint through it, or hide from it, but to give it the proper and complete time that’s required for you. Every person and every loss is different. Your situation is unique.
It’s crucial to work through grief in a healthy way, in the time it takes for you, because unresolved grief does not go away. It will hurt you and those around you until you work through it. To be able to live a healthy, happy, satisfying life again, you must face your grief and work through the grieving process.
Think about your situation, your personal attitude toward grief—and choose to take the wise approach. Your life will be better because of your decision and your actions.
© 2013 Judy Brizendine
Turtle photo: © fotofrenze
Cheetah and ant photos: Courtesy of office.microsoft.com