Thoughts On Grief In Recovery

Thoughts On Grief In Recovery

Perhaps you have grieved over the death of a family member or close friend. The time following a death is very painful and full of all sorts of emotions. Usually there is closure. There is a body, people send flowers and bring food. Some may sit and talk with you as you reminisce the fond times you spent together. Some may laugh at the stories, and some may cry with you. There is a funeral, a gathering of loved ones who grieve their own relationship to the one who was lost. There is the burial, the cemetery, a stone marking the life span of the one who is now gone from your life. Born, died. The recovery from your loss does not end at the cemetery. It continues for a long time.

We all grieve in different ways. The depth and pain of our grief correlates with the level of attachment to the one we lost. The death of a neighbor down the street or someone at the office will not have the impact as the death of a parent, spouse, or child. The extent of your grief over the loss of a pet is determined by the relationship you have with the pet. The closer you are to the one you lost, the greater the pain and work of the grief you bear.

 

Have you considered the fact that someone does not have to die to initiate grief? We face losses daily. As I look into the mirror, I am reminded of the loss of my youth. The grey hair and wrinkles in my face are tell-tale signs that youth has passed. Not to mention the aches and pains that accompany the aging process. We may grieve the loss of health, the loss of a job, the loss of our home to fire. We may grieve the loss of friendships due to a move. There are “good” losses that are grieved, like the loss of a child to college, to marriage, or to a job in another town or state. These are what we raised our children for and are to be celebrated; but when the time comes, we grieve the fact that they won’t be coming home for dinner, and they no longer live in our home. They now turn to their spouse for their encouragement, help, conversation, and affection instead of dad.

 

When we face such losses we expect to find empathy, support, understanding, encouragement, comfort, and hope. We expect people to understand, or at least accept, our emotional out-burst or anger, which is our protest against what has been taken from us. But what support, understanding, comfort, and empathy do we receive from the loss of one of our closest companions? The one who has consoled us when we have been rejected? The one who understood when we were tired and just needed release from the pressures of life? The one who provided companionship when we were lonely? The one who filled our appetite when we were hungry? The one who would always calm our anger, no matter how obnoxiously we showed it to the world or how deeply we buried it inside? This is the friend that was most trusted and would be there for us to comfort and console. This friend always satisfied our burning desire. This “friend” is the one who is written about in Proverbs 7: 15:

I have come out to meet you, to seek your presence earnestly, and I have found you. I have spread my couch with coverings, with colored linens of Egypt. I have sprinkled my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come, let us drink our fill of love until morning; Let us delight ourselves with caresses. With her many persuasions she entices him; with her flattering lips she seduces him.