Grieve Your Losses

Many people are dealing with grief in these days after the tremendous earthquake in Haiti. Untold numbers have died. But the death of loved ones is not the only loss these people are experiencing. They have also lost their homes and all that was in them, their businesses, and their city. Their country will never be the same.

We all experience loss at some point in our lives. Maybe a friend moved away or you got laid off or your son went off to college 3000 miles away. The point is something significantly important to you isn’t there anymore. The grief experienced with any loss follows the same cycle though the intensity of grief may be different.

For seven years I tried to fool myself into believing I hadn’t lost anything but my marriage after our lives fell apart due to my husband’s crime of incest. Acknowledging the losses meant experiencing more pain. I had enough pain! But my subconscious mind was fully aware of the losses and wanted to grieve. While I refused, depression kept its grip on me. Then one day while reading a book on divorce recovery, I sat down and made a list of everything I lost in that situation. Like a splinter that festers until it’s removed, my pain had continued until I faced it and allowed myself to feel it. I grieved each item on the list no matter how trivial the loss may have seemed. This opened the door to further emotional healing.

Have you grieved the losses in your life? Don’t be afraid; grieving will allow you to heal.
Debra L. Butterfield © 2010

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