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Healing in Grief is Not a Matter of Time

Day100a: Healing in Grief is not a Matter of Time

The brutal truth in grief is that the widely accepted definitions of healing, such as going back to normal, do not apply. I have spent many years thinking about what “healing” actually means in grief and how this “healing” occurs. This post is about the “how” of healing, more than the “what.”

I’ve noticed a pattern in my clients who find a way to live within their grief—these folks receive compassion and empathy (NOT pity) from those around them, whether that is from a friend or a complete stranger. In this act of witnessing and connection, their grief is allowed to exist, and the irony is in this allowing for the grief to exist, it can finally move and change and evolve. I truly believe that the key ingredient of healing is not a matter of time—it is a matter of connection and feeling as though someone feels and sees us in our experience.

And to go one step further, I believe that the MOST effective and sustainable mechanism for healing (whether this is related to grief or trauma) is in feeling witnessed and seen by ourselves. There is great power in feeling witnessed by others—and there is even more settling when the parts of us that have been deeply wounded and are grieving know that WE see them and are paying attention. In essence, this is self-compassion-- a turning towards ourselves with grace and love. This is the ultimate in allowing our grief to exist, and propels healing. Those who are able to turn towards their own grief and pain and suffering with grace not only find a way to live within the experience—they usually find themselves (however surprising) living well within their experience.

Need musical inspiration to feel towards yourself?

· Adele, Easy On Me (yes, to her son, yet I also think she sings to her younger self) @adele

· The Chicks, For Her @thechicks

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