“Grief must be externalized.”
~Kübler-Ross & Kessler, On Grief and Grieving
During a particularly difficult period of my adolescence, a first love having ended, I recall the externalisation of my grief in drawing, with pencil and paper, the places and experiences I grieved for. Somehow the pubescent young man in me could still connect with the child within, through the creative media of drawing. Somehow drawing became the outlet I needed to reconnect with the place I still yearned for, and was not ready yet to let go of.
This illustrates a simple principle for adjusting to all those coarse lessons of life.
We must, in our everyday processing of grief, find something tangible to rub against. Some write letters to their deceased relatives, or they write out their hurt in order to express it. The mere expression of our raw emotion assists so much the processing of our grief.
Ideas For The Externalisation Of Grief
Truly, the idea we try, and, that which we find successful, is the right idea, regarding the best way of externalising our grief.
We may find it’s a physical transaction by exercise—which can be helpful in dealing with anger. We may find it’s a mental task that is required. We may need to process our thinking through using our minds somehow. We may bounce our thoughts off people. We might find ways of expressing ourselves that only we understand.
It might be walking the dog, or driving in the country, or watching sad (or funny) movies. Music also provides a soothing salvo for healing. It could be putting pen to paper; blogging, particularly, is a pretty good outlet nowadays.
Making Allowance For Externalisation Of Emotions
Anyone expecting that the restraint of the emotions is a good thing is mistaken.
The charged power in the emotions was always designed to be released, such that we would safely, have the capacity to, uncoil the spring of dramatic discontent. We may become so wound up that the undischarged emotion gets buried very deeply and eventually becomes inaccessible. It is better that we safely discharge it.
Making allowance for the discharge of emotions is a healthy practice of the wise. They find their ways of individual maintenance and provide for those ways. They find they grow in serenity.
The emotion within our grief needs to be externalised; to shape our feelings into meaningful form. We must release our pent-up energies. And when we find release we find peace, and we find ways of coping ‘til the dawning of a new day.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.