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The Hard Work Of Grief

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I keep reading about the hard work of grieving and how it can't be avoided to successfully get through the process. What exactly is this work I'm supposed to be doing. I'm not getting successfully through anything and I don't know what this "grief work" is.

I'm supposed to learn to appreciate what I have now. I have always appreciated that. I'm supposed to value the moment...I was able to do that before my loss. All these things that I'm suppose to learn to make me a better person for having suffered this loss are things that I believed in before. All those grief counselors act as though we were all unappreciative, ungrateful, and ignorant of our incredible fortune until we became lucky enough to have our eyes opened with pain almost too great to live with.

I already knew how to appreciate a beautiful moment for what it was. Now I don't have beautiful moments.

Is the hard work just the suffering? because that takes no effort or work whatsoever, it's just hard.

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I think the hardest part about the "grief work" is confronting it head on. It's like moving through water against the waves. It's looking for the light at the end of the tunnel and not ever thinking that there is one. I also think sometimes we're afraid to grieve for fear of moving forward and "forgetting" our loved one. It's not that we're forgetting, but we're growing into a new reality. And as I have learned from everyone on these boards...it's ok to move forward. We're not forgetting or being disloyal. We're honoring them by living as best as we can. One of the last things my Mom said to me before she died was not to grieve for too long. I didn't know that grieving was an active, ongoing process and it did and does require work. When I think about it, my mom grieved several times: for my dad, for her parents, her siblings, her friends, etc. . My mom would often refer to her own parents and get teary thinking about them...my mom was 85! So no matter how old we are, we will always remember and talk about our loved ones who have passed on. I guess the trick is not getting "stuck" in the pain.

I agree...it's HARD and some days are better than others.

These boards have helped and continue to help me soooo much!

Hang in there...Lori

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I lost my parents a year and a half ago, does the pain ever get any easier. My dad died in august and then my mom in November. And in between them my broth in law died also. Life ssem so unfair at times. I cannot find a job so i do a lot of volunteer work to keep my mind occupied. Some days i miss them a lot and then i can go for a couple of days and not think of them and then i feel guilty. they were married for 55 years together. I have abrother and sister in law and a nephew and his wife. I finally said let's sell the house because i could not take care of the upkeep of it anymore. So my brother found me a condo and it was the smartest move i ever made because i love living in it. I have done a lot of reading and praying since they died. I feel their presence here with me a lot. I wish that they would send me a sign that thye are okay.unsure: would like to talk with someone who has been there like i was Cindy

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My grief counselor tells me the grief work is just feeling the feelings. She says many people refuse to feel it, they stay so busy or numb the feelings with drinking or eating or too many painkillers. They ignore or suppress the feelings. This can happen at first, but if it continues for months and years, you never move through the grief because you are not feeling it. But if you are feeling the grief, and talking about it or writing about it, or chopping wood or doing physical things to work out the emotions, then you are doing the grief work. You have to feel the emotions in order to get through the grief. It's ignoring it that gets you stuck, if I am understanding what she told me correctly.

I think everyone who comes and reads and/or posts on this board is doing grief work. We're working through our feelings. That's all.


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Hi Annette,

I do not know exactly what the grief work is but I know that I have gone through a total emotional overdrive and I do not think I am done yet... It will be two years since I lost my mom and in August of this year it will be two years that I lost my dad.... So all I can say is keep a box of kleenx nearby and face your emotions head on.... Shelley

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