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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Walking the Grief Maze

Grief is probably one of the oddest and unsettling experiences that the average person goes through in their lifetime.  There is nothing logical about the symptoms or the length of time each person requires to adequately grieve the loss.  The griever worries that something is wrong with them. The people around the griever encourage this attitude by benchmarking grief and measuring the experience.  Too often a grieving individual is told that it’s time to get over it.  When the greiver internalizes this and isn’t able to meet the mark he or she may feel ashamed and guilty.  These feelings on top of the grief are a lot for anyone to handle. You can not try to think your way out of the grief, or place blame on yourself for not progressing. 

The term grief journey is used often and for a good reason.  It’s not a single episode or a few days of public mourning.  This is a journey on a path that hasn’t been traveled before.
I think grief is more like traveling through a maze.  You begin to walk the maze and come to a block, you may have to turn around and go back over your steps and start again, you walk around and around the maze confused and anxious.  Sometimes you think there is no way out of the maze.  Occassionally you meet a fellow wanderer and the two of you can work together because you are experiencing a similar maze.  However in the end the maze is yours to explore and walk through until eventually you find your way out.  You never forget the maze and the changes walking it has made in your being, but you move on putting one foot in front of the other.

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