Instigate Renewal into your Mid-life Losses
One of the common concerns during mid-life are relationship break-ups as a result of mortality, of lack of love and communication, separation and/or divorce. Whether the loss-concern, your pain is intensive, the need for grieving is necessary. Repressing strong hurting emotions can be harmful; you must allow yourself the opportunity to express these feelings freely.
Grieving is disorienting particularly during mid-life… you sense your inner-world falling apart, piece by piece; it triggers your whole person emotionally, physically and spiritually. The orientation of your life is more than often affected at the core. Caring about you becomes the most important task during this phase.
Many authors have written about the phases of bereavement; most of them seem to agree on four necessary developmental stages of recovery: Shock and numbness Denial and withdrawal Acknowledgement and pain Adaptation and renewal
As you journey into the process of mid-life grieving, please understand that the nature, the length-of-period or the order into which you experience these phases might vary for each individual as nobody grieves the same way.
Shock and numbness
They are the first strong biological or emotional reactions you feel in loss-concerned situations. This length of period can vary from a few hours to a few days all depending on each individual.
I quote Dr Bob Deits in his book: "Life after Loss">:
"Even during a painful physical injury the body will have the reflex of shutting down the entire emotional system providing a temporary cushion against the full impact of our loss."
Denial and Withdrawal
"The shock wears off but you don’t want to face the truth… you feel hurt and you experiment mixed feelings of sadness, anger, bitterness, guilt and often betrayal."
It’s an important time for you to open up about your loss;share your memories and your feelings. It might not be something very easy to do as you may fear judgements and misunderstanding. Family members, siblings and friends don’t always understand that grief takes a while - particularly in the event of the loss of a spouse either from divorce or mortality.
Acknowledgement and pain
You’ve reach an important step in your journey towards renewal when you can reach acknowledgement. Unfortunately, this is the phase where many get stuck.
Definition of Acknowledgement:
"More than just nodding or lip service without any conviction or commitment to change," Dr. Phil McGraw continues his definition stating:"It's an honest and truthful confrontation with yourself about what you're putting up with in your life that is destructive. It's admitting what you're doing to screw up your life,(you're getting pay-offs for your negative behaviour);it's being honest with yourself about who you are and what is wrong. It's learning to no longer live statue-quo (you either self-destroy or you change). Acknowledgement is to commit to the truth without any excuses to changes that need to be made for a better life. Acknowledgement is to GET REAL with life."
How am I going to get through this?
It’s the journey towards life balance; it isn’t over but it’s the door towards inner healing.
Adaptation and Renewal
Up until now you’ve been questioning: "Why does this happen to me?""What did I do to deserve this?"
As you journey through this grieving stage you begin to ask:
"How do I journey out of this painful reality?"
Symptoms you may experiment during grief
Do not be surprised if during your period of grief you experiment one or more the followings symptoms: Weak and drained of energyLack of appetiteInsomniaPhysical ackes and painLack of concern about personal hygiene or groomingForgetfulness and disorganizationUnable to perform very ordinary tasksAngerExpecting the person deceased or gone to return
Bringing renewal into the grieving journey
Consider this individual losing his eye vision in an accident or due to illness. We cannot begin to understand the devastating loss this person faces, his world is in complete darkness. The only picture he carries of his surrounding environment is now reduced to memory-souvenirs. He struggles as he grieves into his personal loss … He learns to accept and to welcome the support of the Canadian National Institute for the Blinds (CNIB), the family, the friends and the grace of God. All together, they help him journey towards a new life-transformation as he learns to appreciate life again. What he can no longer envision with his physical eyes, he now envisions it with the eyes of his soul. He learns to empathize with citizens struggling with similar weakness and becomes an agent of support to others.
I would like to conclude with this poem. Picture your loved one leaving you this farewell as a last will of happiness for you:
To Those I Love and Those Who Loved Me
When I am gone, release me let me go…
I have so many things to see and do,
You mustn’t tie your self to me with tears;
Be happy that we had so many years.
I gave to you my love, you can only guess,
How much you gave to me in happiness,
I thank you for your love you each have shown,
But now it’s time I travel alone.
So grieve a while for me, for grieve you must,
Then let your grieve be comforted by trust.
It’s only for a while that we must part,
So bless the memories within your heart
I won’t be far away, for life goes on:
So if you need me, call and I will come,
Though you can’t see me or touch me, I’ll be near,
And if you listen with your heart, you’ll hear,
All of my love around you soft and clear.
And then, when you must come this way alone
I’ll greet you with a smile and say," Welcome home."
Bereavement – Councelling the Grieving Throughout the Life Cycle by David A. Crenshaw, PH.D
Life after Loss – A Personal Guide Dealing with Death, Divorce, Job Change and Relocation by Dr. Bob Deits
Getting Real - Lessons in Life Marriage and Family by Dr. Phil McGraw PH.D - Live Workshop (four CD'S)Copyright 2001 Hay House Inc.