After the unexpected death of his wife, Irish author C.S. Lewis wrote in A Grief Observed, “No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear, the death of a beloved is an amputation,” that is why Grief Support in Aurora is there for you.
Grieving with Purpose
- To accept the reality of the loss
- To process the pain of grief
- To adjust to a world without the deceased
- To find an enduring connection with the deceased in the midst of embarking on a new life
Six Signposts Along Your Journey
Before identifying these six signposts, Dr. Joseph reminds his readers of three very important things:
- You are not on your own
- Trauma is a normal and natural process
- Growth is a journey
Signpost #1: Taking Stock
Are you physically well? Are you getting enough sleep and eating the right foods for optimum health? Have you received the kind of medical, legal, or psychological help you need? What is your current condition: physically, spiritually, and emotionally?
Signpost #2: Harvesting Hope
People traumatized by loss often feel hopeless. It’s hard to get up in the morning and thinking about the future sparks pessimism and negativity. Find inspiration in the stories of personal growth written by others; set goals and practice hope as you set out to achieve them.
Signpost #3: Re-Authoring
Learn to tell your story differently. Take the victim mentality out of the story of loss you tell yourself and others and replace it with the word survivor to return to a sense of control over your life.
Signpost #4: Identifying Change
Keeping a daily diary can help you to see the small changes within more easily. You can also track those moments when you feel at your best and identify the conditions that brought them about. Identify and nurture the positive changes in your life throughout your bereavement journey.
Signpost #5: Valuing Change
Review these changes, identifying the ones that you’d like to continue to nurture. Personal transformation requires it. Growth is encouraged when we take time to think about what we have gained from loved ones and when we find a way to use what we have learned to give to others.
Signpost #6: Expressing Change in Action
Express your growth in new behaviors or, more simply, put your growth into action. When you think in terms of concrete actions, it helps make the growth experienced within your bereavement real to you.
Ending Denial and Finding Acceptance
Acceptance May Seem Out of Reach
For many, acceptance means agreeing to reality. Most of us, when we lose someone dear to us, simply don’t want to agree to it; we actually have an aversion to agreeing and accepting. So, let’s use a different word—try “adjustment”, or “integration”. Both words focus on the purposeful release of disbelief. Someone who has integrated the death of a loved one into their life has cleared the path to creating a new life; a pro-active life where a loved one’s memory is held dear, perhaps as a motivating force for change.