Learning to Ride the Waves of Grief

by | Sep 29, 2022 | Death, life, Life Journey, Mental health | 0 comments

Photo by Liza Summer

Grief is a natural response to loss. The poetry book Innerlight’s Eat and Drink My Words by Grace Crook reflects on the author’s system of coping with this emotion. However, while she worked on her creativity to manage, this won’t necessarily work for everyone.

When children lose their toys, their initial and lone reaction is to cry. They cry because then they don’t have anything to play with. Or, they cry because it was their favorite, and now it’s gone. However, this distress is only fleeting, quickly going when their parents give them a treat or replace the toy.

When these children grow up and experience loss, crying becomes one of the various responses available. However, they now cry because they’re hurt over the significance of this loss in their lives. They cry because they know about the possibility that whatever they lost won’t be replaced. The distress may be more enduring this time as they fully understand their emotions.

Understanding Grief

When author Grace Maier-Crook’s loving husband died, she went through the natural response to loss. Grief is the headspace people experience when they’re in distress over something, typically an extremely adverse and painful event.

Grief can be the heaviness people feel in their hearts. It can also be in tears pricking one’s eyes whenever one looks back on specific memories – lasting even years after the said loss. People may cope with it by isolating themselves from the world. Others may do the opposite. They may distract themselves by forcing happiness, hoping it’ll be enough to trick the brain and ease their pain.

While grief is universal, there’s no fixed way of telling how people cope with it nor how it manifests in people.

In Grace Crook’s situation, she took this pain and created something beautiful. She went out of her comfort zone to fulfill her husband’s wish and published a book. In the poetry book, Innerlight’s Eat and Drink My Words by Grace Crook, she bravely and candidly opened up about the experiences that brought her heartaches and how she coped with them.

Ways to Manage this Headspace

This book exhibits the individuality of grief. It’s a prime example that how people cope and heal is unique to them. Grace Crook may have dealt with her pain through creative writing, but this doesn’t automatically make this an effective grieving means for others.

Finding an effective way of grieving can be difficult, especially since it’s a horizon-like emotion. It’s massive with so much possible content, yet it can feel so empty simultaneously.

To start processing their grief, people might want to begin by:

Letting Go

It can be scary to express when people start feeling an immensely negative emotion. Sometimes, the grief that comes with a loss can be overwhelming. Some people may choose to bury it inside their hearts, hoping for it to die down with time.

Grief hurts, and chiefly, time won’t always heal it.

Instead of shutting down every emotion, people should willingly choose to experience them. Anger, loneliness, and nostalgia are only a few of the possible things people will go through with grief. They may believe they shouldn’t be feeling all these or that they’re too dramatic to be experiencing these. But it’s entirely natural to go through a rollercoaster of emotions. They should let themselves react in whatever way their body wants to.

Forgiving Oneself

A notable part of grieving is reminiscence. People may look back at times before their loss and regret how they lived then. This brings out the guilt and the “should-haves.” I should have done this. I should have done that. Despite the possibility of having countless happy memories, they may emphasize the negative experiences.

People need to be kind to themselves during these times. It’s natural to have regrets, and even better to welcome them. However, people must realize that obsessing about these should-have won’t change anything. They’ve done everything they could during those times, which is enough. Having regrets, things they realized they should have done, doesn’t make them insufficient.

Remembering Those They Lost

While it’s important to realize that things can’t be changed, it doesn’t mean complete omission. People can still remember and connect with those they lost. They can recollect memories by looking at photos and videos or by keeping their image alive by placing them frequently.

However, people must be cautious about forgetting these people are already gone. There’s a fine line between honoring their memories and deluding oneself that they’re still around. While thinking about them is essential, they shouldn’t take up a significant portion of people’s lives moving forward.


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