Good Grief: Reflections From a Life Coach, by Melissa Jansen, BCLC
Good grief! You’re probably asking, “Really?? How can grief be good?”
Well, it can be. While going through grief is not necessarily good, the process of growing through grief is, as I can personally attest to and have seen in coaching and counseling dozens of clients over the years. Sadly, I was introduced to grief after a major loss as a teenager- the sudden and untimely death of my first love- and a pattern of losses in the next ten years following forced me to see grief up close. A good friend, four grandparents, a father, an ex-husband, a mother and a brother in law…although those were just the personal “people” losses.
Losses can certainly take on different forms. For example, I never considered the multiple times we moved in my childhood, due to my father’s military status, as losses and never fully grieved the moves and the lost friendships that occurred. Shattered dreams or unrealized ideals are losses. Prodigal children are losses. Geographic change and retirements are losses, though we don’t recognize them as such. No doubt every one of us has touched on one if not many of these.
So how do we grieve? How do you grieve? Do you wear your pain on your sleeve? Do you hide it while dying inside? Do you self-medicate it to try and numb it? Do you rely on your faith? Or have you lost all faith due to the loss? Can you possibly see yourself on the other side of it, or not even see past today?
Suffering a loss and experiencing grief in a healthy way is excruciating yet very much a normal part of the process. There is no escaping it. As a survivor of multiple, painful losses, I can promise you that it’s possible to grow and learn and perhaps even pay it forward one day to someone who is going through the same type of loss that you have. It is hard to “get out of the casket” (forgive the morbid reference), but once you do and begin to take the next steps, relief and lessons and freedom are all awaiting you. And all of those are part of growing through grief. The good grief stuff. Stay tuned for more.