The many lessons of grief include a better understanding of loss, transitions, and changes, as well as a heightened appreciation of love, family, and friends.  Grief is painful, but usually brings an opportunity to experience the feelings that come with being human.  It is a chance to appreciate life, because if we don’t reach the heights of love, sharing, relationships, caring (the list goes on) how could we ever reach the painful depths of life – the loss of those peak experiences of life. of things and those we love.

Like most of life, you must let yourself feel it, sense it, experience it.  Without the true highs then there could not be the depths of lows.  The highs and lows are all part of it.  They depend on each other. 

Grief is a part of life, with many theories for dealing with it.  Included are: 

Kubler Ross’s 5 stages of grief –denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance

Rando’s 6 Rs for processing mourning – recognize the loss, react to the separation, recollect and re-experience (the deceased), relinquish old attachments, readjust (to a new world),  reinvest (emotional energy)

     Bowlby’s 4 stages of grief – shock and numbness, yearning and searching, despair and  disorganization, reorganization and recovery

     Warden’s 4 tasks of mourning – accept the reality of the loss, work through the pain of grief, adjust to an environment where the deceased  is missing, find an enduring connection  with the deceased while embarking on a new life

     Eric Lindermann’s 3 steps to recovery – emancipation from bondage to the deceased, readjustment to a new environment in which the deceased is missing, formation of new relationships

     Klass, Silverman, and Nickman’s continuing bonds theory – suggests that rather than assuming detachment as a normal grief response, consider creating a new relationship with the deceased. This does not mean one is not grieving in a normal and healthy way, but that grief can include having ties to loved ones where one finds ways to adjust and redefine the relationship with that person.

Things to remember as you deal with grief include:

           Grief is unique for each person

            Stages are not linear

            Not everyone goes through stages in a prescribed order

            Path is more like a labyrinth, not a tunnel

            Stages are just tools

            Steps may repeat

            There is no endpoint

C.S.Lewis – Feeling, and feelings, and feelings.  Let me try thinking instead.

                  –  It doesn’t really matter whether you grip the arms of the dentist chair or let your hands lie ii your lap.  The drill drills on.

                   -Grief is like a long valley, a winding valley where any bend may reveal a totally new landscape.