Along the Path of Grief
[COMMUNITY: Part 2]
The role of feelings in grief is huge.
Feelings impact us when they are present, absent, strong, subtle, frozen, overwhelming, invisible, or constantly changing.
The famous writer, C.S.Lewis, describes the changing nature of feelings through his own experience.
“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering in the stomach, the same restlessness, the yawning. I keep on swallowing. At other times it feels like being mildly drunk, or concussed. There is a sort of invisible blanket between the world and me. I find it hard to take in what anyone says. Or perhaps, hard to want to take it in. It is so uninteresting. Yet I want the others to be about me. I dread the moments when the house is empty. If only they would talk to one another and not to me.” -C.S. Lewis
As a community of grieving people, the image above represents how all feelings can be present in a group at the same time—a beautiful reminder that we are in grief-normal. A changing landscape.
It is also possible for us to be held in place by one feeling or another and be “asleep” to its presence. It seems our psyche kindly allows us to progress in grief at our own pace. We come to know things when we are ready to absorb them and not before. We need not rush.
Naming your feelings and acknowledging them are the first steps to dealing with them. It’s actually the process of becoming friendly with your feelings that will help you heal.
Also keep in mind that feelings are not good or bad. They just are. If you’re feeling a feeling as you’re grieving, that simply means you need to explore it and find healthy ways to express it. Center for Loss and Life Transition
Soaring Spirits has a brilliant philosophy on Regional Social Groups. The widowed people who founded these groups realize there are no quick fixes for grief. But we can provide a safe space to be with others on their path and ours.
Our meetings are focused on assisting widowed people in rebuilding their social structure post-loss. We don’t provide any presented content, and all of our meetings are held in easily accessible public locations or online. Our aim is to assist our widowed community in getting back out into the world and/or to connect with a group of understanding friends by their sides! Soaring Spirits International
Many report that being with others who “get it” — just being with other widowed people — helps normalize what feels so abnormal to us at first. When the conversation moves toward the practical things that come up in grief, others have often been there, too.
I see you.
For me, our group feels like a safe place to say my person’s name, or mention an anniversary that’s coming up, and know that others will understand why that matters. It gives meaning to my own grief to be present to the grief of another.
I hear you.
The only requirement to attend a Regional Social Group is to be widowed.
A few attitudes stood out when I attended my first group.
- You are welcome here.
- This is a safe space.
- We can laugh as well as cry in this space.
- Widowed people rock!
- Some of us are here just for ourselves and that’s okay.
- Some of us came tonight because we knew you’d be here.
- Death sucks.
- Grief gets better.
- Love lives on.
Grief never ends, but it changes.
It’s a passage, not a place to stay.
Grief is not a sign of weakness,
nor a lack of faith.
It is the price of love.
keep going . . .