FOR THE BEREAVED: We live in a world of grief

Being honest with yourself is a step to move past grieving

It seems we are a world that lives in grief. All one has to do is turn on the evening news program and we see the grief on the faces and hear the cries of sorrow and loss of those who have suffered earthquakes, floods, uprisings, the list goes on.

It begs one to wonder how those people can cope.  How do they get up every day when all seems so bleak?

When we listen to their stories, an old adage goes through my mind: “If everyone threw their troubles in a hat, we’d grab our own back” and I believe we would.

In our part of the world, we may not be grieving for the loss of our community and countrymen, but we are a nation in grief no less.

The hurt we seem to inflict on each other, without even thinking, is terrible and damaging.

We are all carrying some type of grief with us whether we realize it or not.

It is the grief from past slights that were very hurtful at the time, the loss of loved ones, friendships or other relationships.

We are a society that is notorious for just moving on without investing any deep thought into why events in our life may have happened and what our own participation into the event was.

Most of us, on occasion, have overreacted to a situation where we have perceived some sort of a transgression or insult.

We might recognize we are feeling worse than the situation has called for but not know how to look deeper into ourselves to determine if we might be transferring our emotions from a previous situation.

A lot of times, this overreaction comes from a deep-seated grief or previous hurt we may or may not have insight into.

Sometimes, we think we’re over something painful, only to have a totally different event trigger an old grief reaction. Emotional growth can require fairly deep and honest thinking and that can take time and energy.  It is hard work!

So how does one start to gain insight into ones reactions and emotions when they may not even be aware of their behaviors’?

I am a fairly big fan of self-help books and recommend a trip to the bookstore or library to see the selections but the first step is to recognize we have a personal need to grow.

Certain situations call for a more professional approach. To deal with more complicated grief issues, seeing a counselor or therapist can be enlightening and open many new doors in our ways of thinking and in recognizing when we are having a grief reaction or just overreacting.

If we can become more self-aware and offer kind and encouraging words, instead of hurtful or thoughtless words to each other, just think how much better our nation would be.

–Barbara Bleiler is a certified funeral celebrant and advertising rep for the Grand Forks Gazette.