According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, grief is defined as “deep and poignant distress caused by or as if by bereavement;” or “a cause of such suffering.” Grief is an emotion that we all feel at some time or another in our lives.
Grief is a funny thing too. It ebbs and flows. At times, we are so thankful for the times we shared with the person we lost to death. Other times we wonder if we should have taken more pictures or told me more how we felt. And at other times, it can take us totally by surprise. Or take our breath away because we cannot imagine a life without them.
In fact, there have been studies done on grief. Elisabeth Kubler Ross and David Kessler have written about the five stages of grief. These five stages include denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. These stages are not linear. They can happen in any order and can move between the different stages.
I’m no expert at grief. I’ve only learned what I’ve learned from what I’ve read, or studied or even experienced in my own life. This past year has been one of the hardest in regards to grief. Since last October, I can count ten individuals/colleagues/friends who have been taken from us to death; most of them way too young and way too unexpectedly. So this year has been a year of deep grief.
It seems I would just catch my breath and then I’d learn of another death. My grief would become compounded as the grief would pile upon itself. And it would just become harder and harder. Yet the truth is I knew I was not alone. Others were grieving too. And the reality is that none of us are strangers to death and grief.
So my hope and prayer during these 31 days is that perhaps my words will help you as you grieve or maybe my words are how you are feeling or maybe this series will remind you that you are not alone as you grieve. In fact, I’ve learned that grieving is best done together. We walk this journey of grief hand and hand.