Grief Is Like the Ocean
As the days get longer, it would be easy to leave some of the dark, hard emotional work behind us in the beauty of the sunlight, giving a false sense of relief; however, that repose can cost us more later if we are not careful.
I’m working through some of my own personal grief, and it seemed only fitting that I would share how I seek to do the hard emotional work to get through this loss I am experiencing.
Grief can find its way into any loss. A loss due to death would seem the most prominent, however the loss of a beloved pet or a miscarriage can be just as crippling as the death of a parent, sibling, child or significant other. As a society, we are starting to bring light to the profound potency of grief and how it can change you! How grief can wash over you when you least expect it, leaving you to feel IMMENSE pain, sometimes all the way to the bone.
However, we often forget to talk about the various other ways we can experience loss and its subsequent grief. You can experience grief through the loss of security, ie: a job that provides financial stability, a home that you invested in, a stable environment that allows you to feel safe.
You can experience grief through the loss of a future, ie; an unexpected illness that drains both your hope and finances, a life long dream that ends unexpectedly, leaving you to wonder “what is next?”, or the end of a relationship/marriage in which you had envisioned so much more time and plans.
And you can grieve the loss of a friendship. Which is where I find myself this past week.
Grieving a friendship “breakup” can make the rest of your life feel just a little bit lonelier.
The friend who you call to commiserate a frustrating or bad relationship!
The friend who is always on your team in the midst of a breakup, separation or divorce.
The friend who you can count on to be the homebase in the midst of a large group of people.
The friend who you call when you’re lost in a parking garage and can’t get out.
The friend who encourages and advises you to take those business leaps.
The friend who does not allow you to change under pressure, but encourages you to hold fast to your true self.
The friend you can spend hours with and not even notice the time go by.
The friend who makes your life all the better because they are in it.
Until they are not.
When distance starts to creep in. Text messages are left unanswered. Frustration grows in silence. Emails are not returned. Value appears to diminish. Communication is sparse. And before you know it you do not feel safe in the midst of the emotional whiplash that has begun to occur.
What is left to do?
A friendship break-up is one of the hardest life changes to initiate and follow through with. Maybe not on the recipient end as their actions would suggest any number of changes in how they value the friendship. Nevertheless, for those who realize the friendship is doing more harm than good, leaving you to question your value in their lives, or even the worth you hold as a person; so begins the process of separation and working through grief.
It is not the first time I have had to work through grief, unfortunately, I have experienced loss in far too many areas of my life. Be that as it may, the process is the same. You have to sit with the pain. You have to sit with disappointment. You have to sit with the unexpected change. You have to sit with loneliness. You cannot ignore it. You cannot outrun it. You cannot bypass all the changes it brings.
“How strange is it, that after all that, we are strangers again?” Lang Leav
If you are wanting and willing to do the hard emotional work as you process the various situations that bring grief your way - I would be honored to support you in the journey!
Joni Woods, ACC
“Creating the future You want!”