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IT’S ALRIGHT TO FEEL THE FEELINGS

Posted on October 01, 2021

“I hate this! I just want to be me again! I want to feel normal. How long will it take?” Karen desperately looked around the circle gathered in Grief Group searching for answers. Heads nodded. Empathy filled the room.

“We don’t know how long it will take. Everyone has their own unique way of dealing with the grief. There are no right or wrongs,” Deb said.

Sara leaned in, “It’s been a couple of years since my husband died. I still miss him. I don’t think the grief will ever totally go away. And I’m okay. I’m getting out and having fun. He’s still with me in a good way. It will get better Karen. You will move forward.”

June reached out and patted Karen’s hand. The warmth felt reassuring as the conversation centered on the tasks to help them heal.

“Thank you Karen, your honesty and vulnerability got us off to a good start,” said Margaret the group leader, giving her a knowing look. She continued. “Last week we talked about the first task: Accepting the Loss not just physical acceptance, but an emotional acceptance.”

This week let’s focus on our second task: Feeling the Feelings. Sometimes we deny them. We push them down, or we distract ourselves. This task takes a long time, but it is essential we deal with feelings if we want to heal. During this time we enter a time of Disorganization.

Don’t worry there will come a time that you will begin the task of Adjusting. And like Sara, you will Move Forward into a New Normal. Karen got us started. “How did the week go; what were some of your feelings?”

Hearts opened, as they shared their stories.

· “I can’t remember things. Am I going crazy?”

· “I can’t get anything done, there are all these papers to fill out!”

· “I know I shouldn’t feel angry but she left me!”

· “I feel guilty. I shouldn’t. She was sick a long time, and I’m relieved.”

· “I don’t know how to handle all the finances. He always did it!”

· “I’m ready to get out, meet new people, but my kids don’t like it. So happy and guilty!”

· “I want to just stay home and watch movies. I just need to be alone.”

· “I’m afraid to socialize because I never know when I will get triggered and be emotional.”

· “I don’t want to bother anyone with my grief.”

· “It’s a rollercoaster of happy, sad, just wanting life to end, but faith holds me steady.” 

· “People have enough going on in their own lives. They don’t need to hear my problems.”

· “I have a friend who keeps telling me how I should deal with my grief. How would she know how I am feeling? I don’t want to be with her anymore.”

· “I just want to be me again!”

· “I feel hope that with God’s help and all my friends and family, I will get through this.”

When we are grieving we need to realize each person has their own unique way of processing grief. There is no right way to grieve. There is no wrong way to grieve. It’s a long journey. Drop the baggage of expectation and judging. This alone helps. Just feel the feelings for now.

© VickiJolene Lindley Reece

(Inspired by Wholeperson.com materials we use in Grief Group)

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