Grief can be a medicine…

“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief… and unspeakable love.” 
those krumpled kleenex
sitting at the kitchen table.
Alone or with a trusted friend,
“grief triggers”
will get pulled
whether we like it or not
grief “thang” will creep in
at times when you least expect it.
I can tell that
my thoughts the other day
have activated the trigger
in many here,
for many who do not comment
but read often and re-read as well.
grief is an “opportunist”
and drinks from our well of
resources and energy
from time to time.
Often leaving us exhausted
grumpy, worn out, or sad
or just plain out
depleted along the path.
More often than not
according to research
people will heal in spite of clinical interventions
although many benefit greatly from therapists
many will at times
come to the conclusion
that it becomes a choice made to
re-join the dance of life
or be stuck in the darkness of pain.
Seems everyone
related quite well
to this humor
and very real
That grief,
and its way of
being and showing
at times
we just have to “sit with it”
allow the tears to fall
and the trail of grief
to take us through the path once again,
or perhaps differently
now that we’ve had some time;
have felt the reality of missing
that many label “yearning and searching”
in texts and literature and counseling.
MIssing is missing
and it is something that has yet to be defined
in its completeness
but certainly felt
by those who feel it deeply.
pain of loss one goes through takes a tremendous toll on the spirit, the fabric of life of the person grieving and those still here
who also love and bear witness.
it may be helpful to acknowledge it and
to recognize that somewhere along the line
we have been given words
and those words are
and often do not fit
what we are feeling
in times of mourning loss
absorbing the realities of death
its impact.
We’ve been conditioned and taught that
“I know just how you feel”
“you’ll get over it in time”
we’ve been told
“don’t dwell in the past”
we’ve been encouraged to
come to
“find closure”
“move on”
Sometimes there are just no words…
Words are powerful instruments that give a command to our brain,
but do not make sense always to the heart.
It just may be we need new words,
to adjust to what is now
our meaning systems
incorporating the pain of loss
the reality
“hearts that are connected in life cannot be separated by death, as death is not that powerful”.
labels are the rage,
pathology is confused with reality and the complications of grief are reality
for each who experiences profound loss
of something or someone they love.
Meaning systems are shaken,
the very foundations that we build lives on are felt to be in a state of dis-equilibrium.
our systems are thrown into crisis,
added to the words of so many.
It is no wonder people do not fully grasp the reality of loss for so long,
they are too busy trying to find their grasp and understanding of all the words being said to them and to figure out how to apply them now that their world is out of balance.
Chronic Dysfunction
Delayed Grief or Trauma
Pathological Mourning
Getting Over It
Moving On
Letting GO
Words, definitions, explanations, theories and postulations
on human experiences and emotions
can be challenging,
can be upsetting
can be plain out off the mark.
Sometimes we don’t want to “let go”, wonder about words like “closure”, “moving on”, “getting over it”.
Quite odd the expressions we have been thought to be helpful don’t you think?
Letting go implies to release, and hearts that are connected never really let go of love do they?
We must use our brain and our bodies, hearts, souls to connect to the words that we are hearing and saying
in relation to our lives, our losses
in order
to heal.
At times we must try to keep our hearts above our heads, so that we are not rationalizing to the point of confusion, not trying to filter the educated ideas from the beats of the heart, or the many opinions of so many on how we should feel, think or speed at which we should be finished with grief work.
“The deeper that sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain. Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?”
 ~ Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931) ~
The existence of
“complicated grief” is now being talked about, being discussed and is a current debate in the field of those in the professions and academia.
I think that all grief is and comes with
It certainly is not what I would call “easy”, “normal”, or a “walk in the park”.
Not for the one grieving, nor for the helping professional who bears witness to the stories of such loss, trauma, pain.
Each in their own, the worst for the one going through it.
Particularly for the one who is grieving.
It is a personal journey,
one that is different each and every time loss is involved dependent upon the love, the relationship, the unfinished business,
the age, the type of kinship shared,
the imprint that is left to be honored and remembered.
I also think that we need new words, more than we need a new diagnostic manual;
words that speak loudly
to the
opportunist that grief is;
those times when sadness and missing
hit home and hit hard.
Times when you just wish you could spend an afternoon together, or share another precious event or laugh or seek council with
or just “be”.
Feelings and profound thoughts on
loss and grief are not new, they have been thought about and felt since the beginnings of time.
I found this remarkable quote
and so very true
if only we can instill it and believe:
“Grief is itself a medicine”.
 ~William Cowper (1731-1800) ~
Just as music is the Universal language,
it soothes in ways that nothing ever will,
so is grief itself a medicine to wounds never imagined.
So as you give yourself permission for those times when that opportunist called
“grief” comes to pay a visit,
allow it to be medicine
to soothe your soul,
allow yourself time to feel, to be one with it,
as you lean in to those times and memories.
You may even dance with that thing called grief, sit with it a while,
Knowing that you have loved and been loved.
Say the name of the one you love
while sharing them with everyone you see!
And yes,
there are times
when you would just about give anything
to see them again, you will miss them being here, want to pick up the phone to share your day, to ask a question, to hear their voice.
That is true, it is not a flaw in you.
It does not indicate pathological mourning.
Look for those signs, those messages, for the wonderment that is still here,
 pay attention
they are everywhere YOU are.
Love never dies.
Walk in Beauty,
“keepin it real”
“Down The Hallway”
Dr. Sherry E. Showalter
(stay tuned) see above press release for more information!

5 comments on “Grief can be a medicine…

  1. […] Grief can be a medicine… (drses.wordpress.com) […]

  2. Beautiful blog Sherry. And words coming from a woman that has worked with the grieving for many years and grieved and grieves herself..could not be better spoken. Thanks as always for sharing. hugs

  3. Dr. Sherry, such heart felt and hear touching words and message. Indeed"hearts that are connected in life cannot be separated by death, as death is not that powerful". Though the loss is great and though times are very painful and heart wrenching from the soul I know that those I loved and lost are really still with me always because they live in my heart forever. Some days are very difficult. Not only missing my precious Mom but missing my Dad, Brother and Husband. Thank you Dr. Sherry for your words that can be most helpful. Prayers that all who stop by here will be lifted up and encouraged by your words. /Sandy♥

  4. helllloooooliving proof here that every wordyou have said is true ~I have found my solace in " knowing I have loved and received love"the loss which hands my heart pain and sadness is one in the same of the love that once brought the greatest of all joy into my life..Reaching into the depths of my soul, I am now able to embrace that same joy in a memory of a special moment or a wondrous smile..The love will always remain, perhaps even growing stronger as time passes .. move on ? let go ?get over it ?NEVER…embracing all the faces of love daily… in the wonder of nature, in the beauty of rain and rainbows.. yes Doc, love never dies.. death cannot separate us..Death is not ever strong enough to break the forever bonds of love..Thank you for all you provide for so many of us..may everyone have a most blessed day !!sign me,loving life, loving my angels..♥ A.

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