When I read an especially meaningful quote recently, I could not help but think about the holiday season and the struggle it ushers in for anyone who is grieving. Yet, it’s not just about the ‘holiday’ season, but the meaningful times we experience throughout the year. All of these times are especially tough for anyone who is grieving. William Shakespeare penned the insightful phrase, “Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak whispers the o’er-fraught heart and bids it break.” Grievers are often so self-conscious about the possibility of their feelings spilling out unwillingly or unexpectedly that their dread of special days intensifies even more.
Grief is not something to be ashamed of. And grief that cannot (or will not) be expressed is grief that is not being worked through to healing.
Give Sorrow Words
When you give sorrow words, you allow yourself to express the grief you feel. You don’t run away from it. You may want to talk about your grief – or if that makes you uncomfortable – then express your grief through words that you capture on paper. Allow your thoughts and feelings, whatever they are, to tumble onto paper as you release whatever is stirring around in your heart. If you need to cry, then cry. It’s okay. Give your sorrow a means of expressing itself.
The goal and intent is not to “get over” your grief, but to work through it – and in the process, to eventually begin to adjust to the changes grief has brought into your life.
Don’t be afraid of your sorrow. Don’t try to run and hide from it. Instead, accept that grief bids you to express it in order to heal. Let others around you know it’s okay to speak about your loss or to bring it up with you. Grief is an expression of deep love. Never forget that!
Keep Moving Forward, Step by Step
Set aside guilt, self-consciousness, and any other negative emotions. Focus on the positive to see you through – love, healing, encouragement, and the support of loved ones – during this most difficult time.
Accept where you are right now – yet know that this is not where you will stay. Keep moving forward in your healing journey, one step at a time.
Allow yourself to give sorrow words, and never forget the love that is the source of your sorrow.
Wishing you a New Year that brings times of joy in the midst of sorrow – and continues the healing you have already begun.
© 2016 Judy Brizendine
Photo courtesy of unsplash.com
Expressing Grief—What to Know and How to Help Men, Women, and Children Cope with Grief – Christopher P. Hill
Grief Tools: Expressing the Pain – Megan Aronson
What Helps You Cope with Grief? – Northern Illinois University Employee Assistance Program
10 Tips to Help Yourself in Times of Grief – Angela Morrow, RN