This thing called grief

One of the first things you notice on author and grief counselor Ashley Davis Bush’s page on Facebook are the heartfelt comments from those who have either read her book, “Transcending Loss,” or have somehow found their way to her website.

“My life will never be the same after losing my husband. I know that. But I feel lost. I don’t know where I’m supposed to go from here,” one woman posted.

Someone else wrote, “I feel as though because it’s been almost 9 months that Dan passed away that I am expected to have moved on by now… I hate it.”

Of all the emotions – love, anger, happiness, fear – that are part of the human experience, grief seems to be the one we misunderstand and avoid the most.

Most of us, if we live long enough, will encounter grief in some form or another. It might be the loss of a spouse or child or close friend. Maybe it’s the loss of a job or a home, or the end of a relationship. People can grieve when they lose their health. They grieve when they lose a beloved pet.

Yet despite how universal it is to experience bereavement, most of us are unprepared for what it’s like or how to deal with it. Nor do we always know how to respond respectfully and sympathetically to someone else who is grieving.

It doesn’t help that here in the United States we have a hurry-up culture that often expects people to reach “closure” and move on within a matter of days. Who are we kidding? It doesn’t work that way.

This weekend the Church of St. Mary here in Willmar is hosting a workshop on bereavement. It’s from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday in the parish center and will feature a panel discussion on the emotional, physical and spiritual aspects of bereavement. This event was organized by the bereavement committee of the Catholic Area Faith Community of Jesus Our Living Water, which includes Catholic parishes in Kandiyohi, Lake Lillian, Spicer and Willmar.

Talking about grief and bereavement may not be most people’s idea of a fun way to spend their Saturday morning. But it’s both necessary and worthwhile. Whether you’re dealing with a recent or long-ago loss, want to help someone you know who is grieving, or simply want to learn more, consider attending. The event is free.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

One thought on “This thing called grief

  1. Pingback: The weekly rundown, Jan. 19 | HealthBeat

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