Page 24 - Scene Magazine 41-03 March 2016
P. 24

“It’s so curious: one can resist tears and ‘behave’ very well in the hardest hours of grief. But then someone makes you a friendly sign behind a window, or one notices that a flower that was in bud only yesterday has suddenly blossomed, or a letter slips from a drawer... and everything collapses.” ~ Colette
For me, the most important part of the grieving process is the realization that I have loved deeply and that it was worth it. Without the depth of my relationships I would find life to be less fulfilling. It is partially because of loss that I am able to appreciate all that I have and can share with the world.
According to Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, grief expresses itself in several stages.
• Denial and isolation
• Anger
• Bargaining
• Depression
• Acceptance
Reaching the final stage of mourning is a gift not afforded to everyone. Death may be sudden and unexpected or we may never see beyond our anger or denial. It is not necessarily a mark of bravery to resist the inevitable and to deny ourselves the opportunity to make our peace. The last phase is marked by withdrawal and calm. This is not a period of happiness and must be distin- guished from depression.
Loved ones that are terminally ill or aging appear to go through a final period of withdrawal. Some are aware of their own impending death, others exhibit a physical decline that may be sufficient to produce a similar response. Their behavior implies that it is natural to reach a stage at which social inter- action is limited. The dignity and grace shown by our dying loved ones may well be their last gift to us. Experienc- ing my mother’s final days was valuable as an adult child but I think for my chil- dren as well. Learning to love and let go with dignity is precious.
Coping with loss is ultimately a deeply personal experience; it’s yours alone. It’s quite possible that nobody can help you go through it more easily or understand all the emotions that you’re going through. But others can be there for you and help comfort you through this process. The best thing you can do is to allow yourself to feel the grief as it comes over you. Resisting it only will prolong the natural process of healing.
Thank you for being a part of my journey toward healing and joy.
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