I naively thought of grief as a response to someone’s death – but I just read an article which suggests ways to deal with it and points out there can be grief caused by loss of job, infertility, what you always wanted but never got, someone alive but who has chosen to be absent from your life, the loss of a dream….. so many causes.
The first way through it is to recognise what you’re dealing with. When confronted with something overwhelming, people will typically blot out the grief, force down the feelings but have sadness bob up unexpectedly over and over again. So this makes me think for a moment over my recent life – do I fit any of those categories? It would be a rare person who does not. I know of a lady with much-loved elderly parents who only realised after speaking to spiritual director that she was actually in grief for them already, even though they were ageing, not dying.
Katherine Shafler, NYC based psychotherapist, talks us through the situation in her article, titled “The one thing no one ever says about grieving (and a 4 step plan to move through your grief)”.
Briefly, the steps are to understand that your heart has been broken, recognise that you need to grieve, touch the grief and move through it to life on the other side. All of which sounds very simple and gives no indication of the time it will take to do.
For more details, read Katherine’s very readable, short article at