The following is a reprint of an article written by Margaret Dearing. Margaret is a Bereavement Support Worker.
In life, everyone grieves. But, despite what you may hear, you will do the “work of mourning” in your own way. Be careful about comparing your experience with that of other people. It is important to take a “one-day-at-a-time” approach.
Thoughts about the journey through the grief wilderness:
#1 Your relationship with the person who died was different than that person’s relationship with anyone else. The stronger your attachment to the person who died, the more difficult your grief journey will be.
#2 The circumstances of the death. How, why and when the person died can have a definite impact on your journey into grief. Was the death sudden or anticipated? How old was the person who died?
#3 The ritual of the funeral experience. There is no right way to have a funeral. We know, however, that creating a meaningful ritual for survivors can aid in the social, emotional and spiritual healing after a death.
A funeral is a time and a place to express your feelings about death. It is also a time to honor the deceased, bring you closer to others who can give you support, affirm that life goes on. It also gives you context of meaning that is in keeping with your own religious, spiritual or philosophical background.
#4 The people in your life. Mourning requires the outside support of other human beings in order for you to heal. Healing requires an environment of empathy, caring and gentle encouragement.
#5 Your unique personality. Whatever your personality, it will be reflected in your grief. If you are quiet by nature, you may express your grief quietly. If you are outgoing, you may be more expressive.
Grief is a Process – Recovering is a Choice
“There is no ending that doesn’t have a beginning.”
Finally, let me leave you with the words of the apostle Paul:
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort. (2 Corinthians 1:3-7 NIV)