Monday, November 17, 2014

The Many Disguises and Being Real About Grief


Being real can seem elusively hard.
This is especially the case when we say “I’m alright!” insisting others are being overly cautious and sympathetic in their support. There are many disguises for grief, which we might call unabridged sorrow because of loss.
There is anger. Transference is a phenomenon whereby people transfer their anger from one source (the true source) onto another; the grief is veiled and something else or someone else wears the slow fermenting yet hard-baked wrath that comes vitriolically ripe for the moment.
There is denial. “Everything’s okay!” might be the ironic whistle-charge. When we are in denial there is no acknowledged problem when there clearly is. The opposite effect solidifies the notion of imbalance when we begin to bargain our way through life, to the effect of making ‘deals’ in our recovery.
There is fatigue. When grief looks sinisterly like depression, and hope is vanquished for the felt reality of despair, we come to the end of ourselves and it’s a horrible thought. We are so vulnerable. Such exposure brings us to the point of jumping in the presence of shadows.
A fourth facade is knowing it all. When we are trying to prop up our own fragile emotions, we can actually enrol in the paradox of being most in control, and to the point where advice comes freely from our lips; distinctively in clichés, which are truths inappropriately and insensitively delivered or delivered out of context and/or are crassly timed.
There are more I’m sure, but the act is the same: the critical mass of truth is shied away from, when reality is just too harsh to be stomached. But God gives us all equal opportunity to embark with him on a journey, day by day, with every day’s reality. We should neither be afraid nor resentful of any reality we are presented with.
***
Being real about grief is a mix of denying none of our reality whilst making time for the actual processes to take place. Being real about grief is simply about being real. It takes the evidence presented on a public and private stage – evidence of mental, emotional, and spiritual health or ill-health – and acts objectively on what is observed. The waters of compassion run over the brim so that we can give ourselves the opportunity for healing we need.
The best reality of grief to find ourselves in is the compassion reality – to have the compassion for ourselves we need to give ourselves the time we need.
Disguises for what we are really experiencing are damaging. There is no freedom like the truth.
With courage to face the truth of our reality, the way to healing is certain.
When we have faith in the healing way, restoration takes on transformative means.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.

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