On Grief

Annah ElizabethLeave a Comment

Every hour, across the globe, stories of loss are headlined in newspapers, on radio and television. Each story, however, is both intricately and simply personal. As these stories unfold before the public eye, the griever is entering Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’ 5 Stages of Grief, a complex web of emotion and thought.

And though grief is a natural and essential part of life, so, too, is healing. Healing–the reconciling of these emotions and thoughts–is where we want to be, and yet, arriving at this destination is as random and complicated as the grief stages themselves.

That is where The Five Facets of Healing come into play. The self elements which bring about our grief, are one and the same with those we use to heal. The focus, however, is shifted toward healing, the thought not as much about why we grieve, but how we can heal.

Below is an excerpt from my unpublished work, Digging for the Light. Little did I know when I wrote this memoir about coping with the loss of my child, depression, and infidelity, that the premise would blossom so beautifully, into something so much bigger…

“Nearly two years after I wrote this manuscript, I read Dave Pelzer’s trilogy, beginning with A Child Called ‘It,’ which chronicles the child abuse he endured and his struggles to rise above the role of victim. In A Man Called Dave, he writes, ‘…my story is not about my being a victim of child abuse, but of the indomitable human spirit within us all.’

“A vast many of Dave’s words resonated with me, though none related to child abuse. I connected with his spirit, his courage, his sense of purpose, his determination…

“On a broader level, I believe his story is about overcoming loss. Loss, you might ask? Yes. Loss. As a child, Dave found himself stripped of his dignity, pride, confidence, his ability to trust and other basic, primal needs: his mother’s love, food, warmth, the refreshing feeling of a warm, cleansing shower…

“Loss comes in many forms: you can lose a pet, your wedding ring, a body limb, your house, a family member, your memory, friends, even a lifestyle.

“My daughter’s girl-scout troop merrily sang a song—to the tune of God Bless America—about a girl who cherishes her only pair of underwear.

“Imagine if she lost them.

“Don’t misunderstand me; I’m not trivializing grief—but grief isn’t as much about the loss as it is about the emotional attachment to that which is lost.

“You can purchase a new ring, wear a prosthesis, bear or adopt or foster a child, make new memories, meet new friends, and in most cases, you have other relatives. A new physical presence is created, but it can’t replace what you’ve lost; it is similar in context, yet vastly different—it lacks the original, emotional connection.

“We’ve all heard it, child loss being hailed as The Worst Loss. In my opinion, this reference works only to intensify a grieving person’s suffering.

“Child loss does defy the essence of life. It violates expectations and dreams. So does child abuse, Alzheimer’s disease, depression and infidelity, to name a few.

“This story, though initially centered on the death of my son, encompasses so much more than what I lost in his death. It encapsulates my struggle to rise above tragedy and pain. It reaches beyond the realm of loss and into the spirit of living.”


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