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FINDING BALANCE: PROCESSING GRIEF

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Grave Grief Man - Free vector graphic on Pixabay

JENNIFER RUSSO

This has been a tough couple of months. Normally, I write in very positive terms because truly, I believe in optimism, in seeking the best in everything and that everything has a purpose…but it has been harder lately.


I don’t know if anyone has been through something similar, but in the last two months, I have lost four people that I cared for dearly. One to cancer, one to old age, one to a heart attack and one to an unknown. Personally, I’ve never experienced grief of such magnitude, all at once like this.


Like most when they experience loss, I find myself considering the meaning of life. Trying to process the truth of the fact that we are not immortal, we are not invincible…that time has its limits for each of us. At the same time, I think about how I have lived my life. Have I achieved what I’ve meant to and have I fulfilled my purpose?


There are many ways that people process grief. Some find it helpful to cry and mourn. Some think that death is a celebration of someone moving on. Some aim to fulfill the purpose they believe that person didn’t have ample time to. Some people deny or ignore. Some get quiet and retreat into comfort.


Funny as it sounds, I recently felt nostalgic and decided to re-watch Dawson’s Creek. As I was facing so much loss in my life, I got to the finale episode, where, as cheesy as the show may seem, probably has one of the most prolific quotes of all time.


“It’s interesting how people use that expression– life and death. As if to imply that life is the opposite of death, but birth is the opposite of death. Life… has no opposite.”


Personally, I think that the best way to grieve is to go through three critical steps: 1) acknowledge our feelings about that loss and know that it is okay to be sad, angry, shocked, or even indifferent. You are human and you’re going to be any or all these things. It’s ok. 2) Take the time to reevaluate and assess. Life truly is short, so how do you want to live it? If you aren’t doing that, how do you make it happen? Are there people you need to connect with, forgive, let go? 3) Go on. This is the hardest part, but we still need to live our lives even after the death of a loved one. We need to consider that they would have wanted us to live and do it well.
We have the tendency to make life complicated. We are pretty egocentric at heart,
most of us, thinking for a time that the world revolves around us. Then, even when we realize it doesn’t, we think that we are still in control and that we can change or determine our own futures. Can we?


Maybe. Maybe not. I don’t know.


Here is what I’ve come to. We are sent here or created here for one sole purpose…for each other. Our mission is ever and only to leave behind goodness and good memories for those after us. How many people did we show kindness to? How many people did we help? Did we truly live our lives fully, to our full potential, to our full and authentic selves…or did we compromise that? Because, in the end, that is really what it will come down to – how will we be remembered
The magnificent light in me honors the same magnificent light in you.

Namaste.

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