An important part of wellness is being able to cope with grief in a way that allows life to continue and healing to come at whatever pace it is meant to come. For this week’s post, I have invited Kristina Risinger, an accomplished grief counselor and author, to give words of comfort to those who need them. At the end, I have included several ways to connect with her, including an upcoming complimentary grief support series.
“God gave us memory so that we may have roses in December.”
– J.M. Barrie
At some point in each of our lives, the dreaded experience of loss will leave its nasty imprint on our minds, bodies, and souls. The above quote by J. M. Barrie has resonated with me throughout the years. Grief is heartbreak, confusion, brokenness, anger, guilt, loneliness, and deep sorrow, among other things. However, out of grief comes amazing growth and purpose. It is by sitting in grief and moving through grief that our character is shaped. We begin to resonate with our new normal to our very core as our minds, bodies, and souls process each of the following: the event or series of events that have happened, our thoughts and feelings related to those happenings, and our new perspective on life that naturally follows. We climb out of our personal emotional valley to become not a FRACTION of what we once were, but a MAGNIFICATION of who we are to become.
We make choices every day. Our journey through grief does not allow the dismissal of choice. Rather, we embark on a challenge that will inevitably direct us to a new path from that moment forward. Surviving the loss of a loved one is not for the faint of heart. The lives we used to know so intimately – we who continue to live with the new loss – have come to a screeching halt. We are forced to navigate the challenges of this world from a completely new perspective. Life is different. WE are different. When a loss of great magnitude happens in our lives, our only choices are to stand still or to move forward.
Let me be clear, moving forward does not carry the same meaning as moving on. Of course, you can dig your heels in and sit with grief. In fact, I suggest that you do this from time to time as part of the healing process. However, staying too long does not benefit you or others. When you allow yourself to stay stuck in any place, there cannot be room for growth. Your loved one would not want you to stay stuck. Love fosters growth and does not desire brokenness.
We remember our loved ones in our times of solace. These memories serve to expand our hearts and enlighten our souls so that we may have resounding effects on the lives of others. Eventually, we can come to a place where we believe that we are fortunate enough to have loved, to have been loved, and to continue to show love. As you journey through the grieving process, know it is a journey that is all your own, and remember that God gave us our memories so that we may have roses in December:
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. ~ Matthew 5:4
Even though the effects of grief are unique to each person who experiences them, it is important to be able to accept and explore the idea that we each have the ability to express ourselves while we move through life in our grief. Simply having someone to talk with can help immensely. Knowing that we are heard in our pain begins to open doors to the healing process. We can begin to recognize why we are feeling certain emotions, identify the thoughts that lead to each emotion, and understand what is holding us in such a place of deep despair.
Know that you are not alone in your pain, my friend. If you feel that you are, then know that you certainly do not need to stay in that desolate space. We are meant for each other, to pick up and hold one another, to show strength when others feel weak. We are made to love and be loved. Remember, you grieve because you have first experienced great love. Allow others to hold you up and walk with you on this journey.
Every Monday for five weeks, Kristina will be offering Grief Support in her Facebook “Mind Body Soul Wellness” group. She will lead the group in discussing how grief affects mind, body, and soul. This educational, heart-centered, and experience-based discussion is designed to support those who grieve so that they may begin to take small steps toward renewing hope and discovering purpose after great loss. This grief support discussion starts Monday August 5, 2019 and runs through Monday September 2, 2019. The support will include a weekly video discussion and interaction with in-group conversation between weekly video chats.
Here are some simple ways to connect with Kristina. I know that you will be nourished by her heart as I have been.
Facebook page link:
Talk to a grief coach:
Book: Life After Losing A Loved One: How To Turn Grief Into Hope Strength And Purpose
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