It’s been several thousand years since these words were penned: “There is a time for everything…a time to be born and a time to die…a time to cry and a time to laugh…a time to grieve and a time to dance” Ecc. 3:1. Those words are still applicable today. If you are finding yourself with a loss through death or divorce – suffering long and lonely days and nights that feel like they will never end – perhaps there can be some comfort for you in realizing a few things:
1. First, grieving is a normal process that we all go through at one time or other. We suffer loss and grief for many ‘normal’ situations, even good ones like a child getting married or leaving home for their first job. Small amounts of grief are experienced when we move from one home to another, when a baby moves out of the crib and into a toddler bed, when a favorite holiday is over. Of course, major losses stimulate greater amounts of grief reactions.
2. Second, there is a time for grief. Losing someone is not something you ‘get over’, but you do learn to live with it. You make an adjustment in your life, and that takes time. It doesn’t help to avoid the thoughts and feelings of grief and mourning, but on the other hand, there are different ways people express their grief. The expression of grief is unique to the person and occasion of loss.
3. Third, occasionally a counselor can help. Sometimes people wonder if what they’re experiencing is normal and they need someone to tell them they’re not crazy. Sometimes friends and relatives aren’t able to help us much with our grief. They might use cliches such as “He’s better off now anyway” or not understand why we’re not getting over it sooner. Sometimes you might feel alone and isolated in your grief. Everyone else seems to have gone on with life but you feel stuck. Sometimes you may experience multiple losses or have unresolved losses from the past. For these or for other complications to grief, people come for counseling to a trained therapist who can help them in the journey to a more integrated and pleasing life again. There is hope!