On Grief and Grieving

When a loss hits us,
we have not only the particular loss to mourn
but also the shattered beliefs and assumptions
of what life should be.
These life beliefs must be mourned separately.
Sometimes we must grieve for them first.
We can’t grieve the loss if we are in the midst of
“It’s not supposed to happen this way” . . .
We intellectually know that bad things happen ~
but to other people, not us,
and certainly not in the world we assumed we were living in . . .
Your belief system needs to heal and regroup as much as your soul does.
You must start to rebuild a new belief system from the foundation up,
one that has room for the realities of life
and still offers safety and hope for a different life:
a belief system that will ultimately have a beauty of its own
to be discovered with life and loss.
Think of a lifeless forest in which a small plant
pushes its head upward, out of the ruin.
In our grief process, we are moving into life from death,
without denying the devastation that came before.

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross and David Kessler, in
On Grief and Grieving : Finding the Meaning of Grief Through the Five Stages of Loss

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Karen
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 21:29:51

    I read On Death and Dying by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, but haven’t read On Grief and Grieving. I am certain it’s a good read and have added it to my “to read list”, which has become quite lengthy!! I also read many other books when I lost my parents so closely together. Mary, I thank you for this blog, all of your posts and your honesty about your emotions and your struggles. It speaks sweetly to my heart and soul. I have often thought that I was stuck in a time-warp of sorts with my struggles and pains of not having what I considered the foundation of my being, my parents during some of the most wonderful stages during my life ~ primarily marriage and children! I wondered if something was wrong with me when the pain of their not being here continued to surface after years of their departure! This was especially true during very difficult/challenging times, as well as to see triumphs in mine, Dave’s or my children’s life… I felt cheated… I needed their guidance, support and comfort, the kind that you can only get from your parents! Although I have suffered much loss in my life time, I cannot fathom how the loss of a husband feels. Grieving can be a long and painful experience. Although your words are primarily written for widows, I too have found much comfort in them ♥

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