“The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same nor would you want to.” ― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
Kubler-Ross’s words may seem harsh – they’re not. They can be very healing. Notice there is a present status and then explanation. There is hope in every sentence. Words can be turned over and around to mean different things to different people, but there is a base line of understandig. What is helpful to one person isn’t always so for the next one. However, most words have a common denominator that will stand on their own.
Having said that, there are people who get stuck in grief because of words we use. They may have the language of recovery, but their actions and attitude may show something very different.
It can be helpful to reflect on both the word grieving as the internal expression – an emotional reaction or response to loss. While mourning is the external expression. We might ask ourselves, “Am I grieving or am I mourning?”
Mourning can be the process I use to deal with my loss. It is often the ache, and how I cope with that feeling. Many years ago, men used to wear a black armband when they were in mourning, or a woman might wear a veil. In today’s society we are not so visible in our mourning, however we still do it.
Loss can refer to any kind of disappearance – great or small severe change in our life where what was, is now no more. It can be anything from losing Grandma’s pearl ring to mislaying my tickets to the Maple Leaf game, to a dear friend’s death.
In some ways, I’m experiencing grief at this time. There is a sense of loss of relationships through the play I was directing. Months of practice can never be replayed. Its over – never to be again as it was. Yet, I can reclaim the faces, the laughter and the music through my memory. Even though that’s true, I still suffer loss.
Sketch a feeling or jot down some words about grief, mourning and loss. Then identify with a particular loss you have recently experienced.