Part IX: Permission to Grieve
Dictionary.com defines grief as the following: keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or loss; sharp sorrow; painful regret. It’s also worthy to note that grief is not linear; there is not a straight arrow to the finish line. Grief is a cycle and it is the job of the one grieving to move through that cycle. Mourning over painful losses is a natural human response. It’s also natural to want to stuff the pain and never think on it again, but sorrow always finds a way out either through anger, depression, or some kind of mental or physical ailment. So if you want to get well, you will have to talk and think about what hurts the most.
If sorrow is such a natural human response to the tragedies we experience in life, why do so many people deny themselves the ability to mourn? The best medicine for me is to give myself permission to grieve my losses. I follow the Kubler-Ross Grief Cycle that focuses on five key stages: shock, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. In the next article I will explain what to expect in each stage and provide a description of my own reality and time frame for moving through the grief cycle post affair (as a guideline only).
Each person’s experience and duration in the phases are as unique as their individual circumstances. Your ability to move through the process effectively will be hindered or propelled by using solid coping skills (journaling, exercising, listening to music, etc.) and having a good support system (counseling, friends, family, church family, belief in God, etc.).