that people grieve and what constitutes a significant loss is a very individualized
one, and yet in some fundamental ways very similar. The feelings of despair,
wanting to disappear to crawl under a rock and never emerge...these are
the common ones. the ones that people experience, but rarely share. The
depth of these emotions is difficult for someone who has never lost to
comprehend, so it may be difficult for friends and family members to understand.
What I have found most disturbing is for someone to tell me to "Get over it," not realizing what I am feeling, not understanding that this may be a cumulative effect, not recognizing that what evokes a grief response for one person, may not for another, and trying to be aware of those differences.
|Grief comes in unexpected surges...
Mysterious cues that set off a reminder of grief.
It comes crashing like a wave, sweeping me in its crest,
twisting me inside out.
Then recedes, leaving me broken.
Oh, Mama, I don't want to eat, to walk to get
out of bed.
I do not want to be distracted from my grief.
If you find yourself needing more immediate words or Condolence and Deepest Sympathy, please link to this page.
As always, if you find yourself feeling suicidal or wanting to harm yourself, please dial 911 or your local Crisis Hot Line.
First Stage: Denial
Second Stage: Bargaining
Third Stage: Anger
Fourth Stage: Depression
Fifth Stage: Acceptance
is no exact set time for how long one person may grieve. Much depends on
the type of loss, other factors that may have influenced the loss, what
a person's coping mechanisms were before the loss, how many other losses
and whether or not they have been dealt with in the past.
As a physician, I have lost many patients to death. Some of the deaths affect me more than others. Frequently, there would be a cumulative effect, several deaths close together, a loss of a friend or family member in conjunction with loss of patients, a loss of relationship, change in job situation, and suddenly you discover that you haven't been coping well, that you have to allow yourself time to grieve.
To quote from C.S. Lewis, one day you wake up and something is different....
|Something quite unexpected has happened.
It came this morning early.
For various reasons, not in themselves at all mysterious,
my heart was lighter than it had been for many weeks...
And suddenly, at the very moment when so far,
I mourned [her] least, I remembered her best.
Indeed it was something [almost] better than memory;
After surviving a grief process, part of the healing from the loss
is the realization that one is doing well enough to pass something on to
someone else earlier in the stages of the transition process.
Many of the members of the Alliance, those
who have contributed to the website, are in their own healing process.
The Alliance of Healing Hearts is a group united in the common denominator
of loss...of having experienced grief, loss, a significant change of one
kind or another, or care for those who are experiencing a loss.
Part of the surviving a loss is the telling of the story. To quote Elle Wiesel, one of the survivors of the Concentration Camps,
To tell the story is a way
of moving the grief along,
and so contributes to our own healing.
Once you have reached a place of being able to share the story, we invite you to pass on your stories, poems, quotes so that others might heal.