The Pain (and relief) of grieving

Once more, while I am here trying to write a few words to you, I keep thinking about songs that I like and believe helps to discuss the topic. I guess I like making these connections (songs and human conditions), but that is not the focus now. Chris Martin, from Coldplay, asks in one of his most popular songs: “When you love someone but it goes to waste, could it be worst?”. 

Honestly, I can’t answer his question, as the worst for someone is a very subjective factor. But I have to agree with him that “tears come streaming down on your face when you lose something you cannot replace”. Not only do tears come to the individual’s life, but the whole world turns upside down. There is no hope, there is despair, physical pain, emptiness, a sense that life is not fair, fears, and all different feelings, thoughts, sensations, actions, and emotions that pop up in those who were left behind.

Grieving for someone or something usually takes 5 stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. It can last up to one year and despite similarities, it is a very individual process.

Sometimes, when someone comes across all of these things that a loss evokes, they might believe that they are mentally sick, that they have depression. But they are “just” grieving and although this is not a disorder and does not always need intervention/ treatment, the person is not in their normal state, but in a more depressive mood, having his/hers habits and lifestyle changed dramatically.

But being in a depressive mood is a way of coping with the loss. Feeling shocked, denying, digesting the event; revisiting the past, is all expected. Unfortunately, it is part of the process. It hurts and it can be very tough, but it is necessary. Necessary to be able to carry on, not with that pain but with some acceptance and understanding that when the physical presence is not possible, that person is still there in our values, in a bit of what we do, in what we can remember and in what we carry with us. In our memory, in our hearts, and in behaviours.

It is important to go through this painful path to be able to overcome it, and to give a beautiful closure to it (yes, it is possible!). There was a teacher of mine who used to say that those who can’t remember are those who have dementia. To the rest of us, it might seem little, but memory is what might save us. So for those who are grieving: patience. Things will change, and you will change. If you need support, it is ok. We
are here for that. 

References

From the deep inside of the therapist’s heart and everything she has learned in her academic and professional journey. (Plus her good musical preferences).

Written By:
Andrea Fernandes Thomaz
Counsellor & Psychotherapist

SACAC Counselling

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