When I began my training as a psychotherapist over twenty years ago, I was assigned to work with a middle-aged woman whose sister had recently been murdered. There I was, a young professional with very little life experience who had, until a few months previously, been pushing paper in a PR firm. And yet I was asked to console this woman paralyzed by grief.
To my surprise, I did just that. I was able to listen compassionately and nonjudgmentally. Inexplicably really, I could hear and understand her pain. And I knew without a doubt that I had a calling to work with grievers, to help people in emotional pain.
Although there is a strong American bias that advises people to ‘move on’ and keep a ‘stiff upper lip’, I have always encouraged people to grieve deeply. Grieving takes an enormous amount of courage, to be sure. We don’t like to feel our pain directly . . . and yet it is precisely in our pain where healing occurs.
Grieving deeply and thoroughly creates movement; you could call it pain with a purpose. While learning to live with loss is a lifelong process, it’s the deep grieving that directly mirrors deep loving. And of course that is the kind of depth that makes life worth living.
Expcerpted from the Newsletter,
Ashley Davis Bush, LCSW is the author of
“Transcending Loss: Understanding the Lifelong Impact of Grief and How to Make it Meaningful”
To order a copy Click Here