~ General Information on Loss, Change & Grief~
The mind has
a dumb sense of vast loss�that is all.
It will take mind and
memory months and possibly years
to gather all the details
and thus learn and know the whole extent of the loss.
When a person is faced with a loss, crisis
or life-changing event he/she is suddenly thrust into a new world, a world
that is unfamiliar, one that can seem very daunting and at times frightening.
It is a world of intense, unsettling at at times conflicting feelings of
loss, anger, depression, loneliness, fear, frustration, and desperation.
Each person's experience of loss will have subtle nuances that will make
it unlike any other loss, but what is common to all grief responses are
the intense, heart-centered emotions that others will have also felt, endured
Without applying or asking to join, this person
suddenly becomes a member of a very exclusive club�The Grief Club. This
is a club that people do not choose to join, rather it is a club into which
their grief has given them entrance. There is a common �language� spoken
by the members of this club, one that can often be understood without words.
Many times all that is required to let someone know you have been there
and that you understand their grief is just a understanding look, a gentle
touch on the arm, a reassuring hug or a heart-felt note. The motto for
this Journey of Grief Club is "Cry, Remember, and Live Again." Also depicted within the coat of arms are the steps in
the transformational process following a loss, going from loss (tear) through
transition (purple heart) to reach healing (fuschia heart) and the butterfly
to symbolize the life-altering change the occurs following a loss.
Journey of Grief following a loss, a crisis or a significant life change
is a very personal and often a very private one. Each person travels
on his or her own unique Journey of Grief in experiencing the loss. As
the grieving person recognizes that others have lived through loss and
emerged intact he/she will begin to realize that he/she can survive their
When we are feeling
as if there is no way out, nothing to look forward to,
and we're anticipating
only days and days of emotional agony ahead of us,
we need to recognize
that we are not alone.
There are many others
who have been through grief and are now living their lives and functioning
as capable, loving people in the world.
We will join them one
day...and will, in the future,
live a life that is not
governed by wrenching emotion.
Gaining Knowledge to Regain Control
As with any new situation the person facing any
major change will begin asking questions to try and make some sense out
of what is often the insensible and find out more information. What is
a Loss? What is Grief? What is a Significant Life Change? What can I do
about Losses? How Long will I Grieve? What are the Complications of Grief?
What are Some of the Common Myths about Grief? These are just some of the
questions addressed at the end the General Information Section.
One of the best ways to understand the grief
response is through education. Gaining knowledge can help to return a sense
of control over seemingly random occurances, e.g. new medical diagnosis,
a sudden, unexpected loss or death, or a change in life circumstances.
Understanding a situation, a condition, a new diagnosis or a disease allows
the grieving person to assume control over his/her life and provides a
sense of peace from knowing what is going on, or what to expect, rather
than continuing to fear the unknown. Knowledge can return a sense of control
over seemingly random occurances and aid the grieving in accepting the
life change and beginning the transition to a new life.
For More Information
We have complied a variety of information and
links to additional resources for those who are interested in learning
more about the "normal" grief response and helping or the grieving adult.
(For information on the Complications of Grief,
see the separate section.) Some of the resources are new articles, others
are links to information from the original version of Journey of Hearts.�
Fortunately, much of the information on grief and loss is timeless so the
main content on grief and loss created for the original version of the
site is still accurate, informative and relevant.
When an emotional
injury takes place, the body begins a process
as natural as the healing
of a physical wound.
Let the process happen.
Trust that nature will
do the healing.
Know that the pain will
pass, and, when it passes,
You will be stronger,
happier, more sensitive and aware.