Grief, My Point of View
Grief is a very powerful emotion. One that can bring the strongest man to his knees weeping and bring the weakest woman unimaginable strength to provide love and support to those in need. It’s an emotion that can pass quickly or linger for what seems an eternity. It has little or no basis in rationalization and most people can’t “talk” themselves out of it. I have a slightly different personal take on it.
Let me first say that I have never had any sort of grief counseling training. I’m not experienced in working with individuals through their grief although I have been by the side of many dear friends and loved ones who have lost someone close to them. Last year, my father-in-law passed away on Dec 6th. Four years ago, my step mother passed away on Dec 11th. And now, my grandfather is very near the end of his life as well.
This gets me to thinking about grief.
I see grief as a purely selfish emotion. And, frankly, there is nothing wrong with being selfish. Unfortunately, many people see selfish as a negative trait.
But why is grief selfish? If one believes in heaven, reincarnation or any sort of afterlife, then our deceased loved ones are truly going to a better place. A place where they will be free of pain, sadness, hardship, etc… They are the fortunate ones. We ought to be overjoyed for them. Instead, we sit in misery over our loss; the loss of the ones near and dear to us. We agonize over how that person will no longer be there to support us, love us, provide us with advice or just an ear to hear our voices. It’s all about me, me, me!
What if we don’t believe in anything after death? Maybe we don’t believe there’s a better place after this. It’s still selfish. We aren’t mourning what they’ve lost. We’re mourning what we have lost. We grieve, not the passing of our loved ones, but the change we must know endure.
It might be helpful to think about what our loved ones that have passed would most want.
I know that, if I were to die today, I would want those near to me to get past the grief as quickly as possible. I would want them to know that they have a right to find happiness without me in their lives. It is giving me far too much credit to think that they can only find happiness if I am still alive. I want them to celebrate the wonderful life I have lived and the lasting gifts I have given to them but not to be pulled down into sadness and heartache that they can’t find their way out of. Grieve if helps you, but, for your own sake, make it short and move on with your life.
And, as my grandfather nears the end of his life, I know that he would want the same for me.
What are your thoughts on grief and the grieving process?