However it begins, we know a loss sends us on a journey we wouldn’t necessarily ask to take. This journey, however, can transform us. It’s often said that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. There’s some truth in that. But we don’t want to be too glib with such statements either. Grief journeys are extremely painful and troubling. And some people simply cannot recover.
The reasons for grief are varied and numerous. Loss of any kind brings grief—if we notice. Often we don’t think of these experiences as loss, so we don’t stop to deal with them.
But what happens when we don’t grieve? Grief and loss are a natural part of life. Grief affects us emotionally, spiritually and physically. Old losses can resurface if we’ve haven’t given ourselves the time and space to grieve.
Unresolved grief waits in the wings for the next loss—often coming out sideways or in sneaky ways that take us, and those we love, by surprise. And it can also affect our physical health and relationships. Grief needs to be acknowledged—and addressed.
Tomorrow: Find the feelings
This message was adapted from the “Faces of Grief” resource written by Sonia Solomonson and is available from the Women of the ELCA website.