Welcome! I bet you're wondering about the title of this blog, "Good Grief." How can grief be good? Grief by definition is a bad thing, right? Well, not necessarily. Grief is the normal process of reacting to a loss of any kind.
Some losses are felt more deeply than others and some are more impactful. Regardless of the depth or type of loss, each loss creates “conflicting feelings” brought on by “the end of or change in a familiar pattern of behavior” (James and Friedman, 2009, p. 3). You may feel relief that a hard time has passed, such as a divorce is finally over, a difficult job has ended or a loved one who has been suffering with a debilitating illness has died. At the same time, you may also feel very sad about what has happened.
Feeling the pain associated with loss reminds us of our ability to care deeply and that we are willing to risk the pain in order to love. This is good. Yet, our culture tells us that grieving a loss is a bad thing, something not to be discussed and to be done alone. Grievers often feel isolated and are encouraged to be strong and put on a happy face for the sake of those around them. So, instead of healing their broken hearts, the message is to discount their feelings, push them deep down inside and pretend to be happy. This disconnect is bad and results in unnecessary suffering and potential health problems.
According to the Mayo Clinic, for example, grievers can suffer from chest pain, headaches, digestive problems, fatigue, sore muscles, increased irritability, numbness, detachment, preoccupation with loss, and the inability to show or experience joy. Grievers may also experience an inability to concentrate and short-term memory problems. In addition, experts believe that grief may be linked to obesity, depression, diabetes, smoking and an increased risk of heart attacks, higher blood pressure, infections and blood clots.
My hope is that by reading this blog, you will understand that grieving is normal and essential for mending a broken heart. I also hope you will realize that you are not alone and that it is okay to feel whatever your feeling. I invite you to consider participating in a Grief Recovery Support Group or a Grief Recovery One-on-One Program. Like you, I have been a griever, and I can tell you from my own personal experience, The Grief Recovery Method® works. It is possible to be happy again, and it is never to soon to start your recovery!
James, J.W. and Friedman, R. 2009. The Grief Recovery Handbook (20th Anniversary Expanded Edition). Collings Living, New York, NY.
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