THE GIFT OF GRIEF
On Grief & Grieving
by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and David Kessler
Grief is the intense emotional response to the pain of a loss. It is the reflection of a connection that has been broken. Most important, grief is an emotional, spiritual, and psychological journey to healing.
There is wonder in the power of grief. We don’t appreciate its healing powers, yet they are extraordinary and wondrous. It is just as amazing as the physical healing that occurs after a car accident or major surgery. Grief transforms the broken, wounded soul, a soul that no longer wants to get up in the morning, a soul that can find no reason for living, a soul that has suffered an unbelievable loss.
Grief alone has the power to heal.
Think of a time when someone close to you experienced an important loss.
Think of his life following that loss. Then think of him a year later. If he grieved, a miraculous shift may have occurred. If healing did not take place, it is most likely because he did not allow himself to grieve.
Grief always works.
Grief always heals.
Many problems in our lives stem from grief unresolved and unhealed. When we do not work through our grief, we lose an opportunity to heal our soul, psyche, and heart. In today’s culture there are so few models of grief. It is invisible to the untrained eye. We don’t teach our children how to cope with loss. People don’t say to their children, “This is how you heal after a loved one dies, this is how we mourn.”……
While some mourners have access to bereavement counselors and other health-care professionals, most people today feel very alone in their grief. They long for a pathway through their pain and isolation. They unconsciously seek models, which are few and far between. They turn to family and friends who are often unfamiliar and uncomfortable with the grieving process themselves.
Not knowing how to handle the pain of grief, we avoid it, not realizing it is the pain of the loss we are trying to avoid. A pain that will strike, no matter how much we try to avoid it. Yet by avoiding grief we turn our backs to the help that grief offers, thus prolonging the pain.
Why grieve? Two reasons. First, those who grieve well, live well. Second and most important, grief is the healing process of the heart, soul and mind; it is the path that returns us to wholeness. It shouldn’t be a matter of if you will grieve; the question is when you will grieve. And until we do, we suffer from the effects of that unfinished business……
The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not “get over” the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal, and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again, but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same, nor would you want to…..
With the power of grief comes much of the fruits of our grief and grieving. We may still be in the beginning of our grief, and yet, it winds its way from the feelings of anticipating a loss to the beginnings of reinvolvement. It completes an intense cycle of emotional upheaval. It doesn’t mean we forget; it doesn’t mean we are not revisited by pain of loss. It does mean we have experienced life to the fullest, complete with the
cycle of birth and death. We have survived loss. We are allowing the power of grief
and grieving to help us to heal and to live with the one we lost.
That is the Grace of Grief.
That is the Miracle of grief.
That is the Gift of Grief
(Please know this is only a portion of the chapter from the above book.)