Day 89: Healing in Grief is Confusing
Many of my clients report that their experience of grief is not like anything else—that it is almost impossible to put in words: it comes suddenly; there is no preparing for how it might be; and, there is no actual fixing it without bringing the person back or pushing some button to reverse the massive change in their life.
Being that grief is so confusing, healing in grief can also feel like a mystery. Most people say healing would mean “feeling like I used to, or getting back to normal”—yet I believe that grievers already understand (consciously or not) how this could never happen.
“Back to normal” is off the table.
Each person I work with has a different evolution to what “healing” means for them. The one thing I have come to be sure about in my work is not what healing looks like, but what the conduit to healing actually is—and that is allowing oneself to feel and look at and sit with the pain and immensity of grief, to allow it to happen, and to give oneself grace and compassion for the immensity of it all. We humans are not designed to do this alone, at least at the beginning, yet we are designed to have to feel our grief in order for some kind of healing, whatever form that may come in, to begin.
Welcome to my 100-day project. I hope to provide a daily offering on something grief-related. I am a grief therapist and educator working with people in Oregon, Washington, DC, Maryland, and Maine. This feed is in honor of each person who has trusted me with their stories and wisdom during their grief journey. I hope that others may benefit from simple and straightforward talk about a topic that can be difficult.