One of my favorite authors, Alan Wolfelt, tells us that we need to embrace the pain of the loss. I have shared this with people and they roll their eyes and say embrace – I don’t think so.

I totally understand this reaction. Sometime the pain of grief can be so overwhelming it can feel like we are completely out of control. It can be frightening and sometimes frustrating.

Wolfelt says in the next sentence – dose yourself. You cannot feel it all, all at once. It is too much. I appreciate this.

Can you find ways to feel your grief a bit at a time? It might be looking at some photos or talking with someone about your person.

In order to embrace the pain you will need to feel a sense of safeness, so make sure that when you share your grief experiences, or your memories, that you are doing it with someone who does not try to “fix you”. We need our people to just listen and witness.

In order to embrace the pain, sometimes we need to be intentional. We can do that by intentionally setting aside some time to grieve, or we can join a grief support group, or create a ritual where you use some kind of action to let the feelings be there. This can be a walk, or journaling, or even listening to special music. We don’t need to make things complicated.

We move in and out of our grief. This is as it should be. We can’t be in it all the time. It is too exhausting. A thimble full at a time, just a bit at a time. Let it in and let it pass through.

Of course as I write, I realize that sometimes it is just overwhelming. That great big wave just washes over you and there is nothing you can do about it. If this happens, remember to breathe and be ever so gentle with yourself.

Denise Torgerson
Community Programs