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  • The Problem(s) with Grief

    I imagine if you are reading this, you’ve experienced how hard it is to put what you feel about your loss in to words. Or, maybe you’ve watched people you care about struggle to describe their feelings. While there is an endless list of what makes grief so difficult, there are 3 major things that make the journey of grief so complicated.

    The first thing is that grief doesn’t follow any rules. Sure, you may have heard there are stages of grief. This is true, there are many stops along the way. There can be fewer or far more than 4 stages, and they certainly don’t follow any order. No one can tell you what to expect, or predict how long it might last. This part of how grief happens can make it seem like it’s impossible to find a plan that will help.

    The second thing is that grief plays hide and seek. One day you are okay. Maybe you’ve been okay for a week or a month, and then, suddenly you aren’t. One day you can think about your loss and still function, the next day the best you can do is stay in bed. Grief can retreat when you need it to if you’re busy, when things are urgent- fooling you into thinking that somehow it has softened. Then, it hits like a train with no warning. This part of how grief happens can make it seem like everything’s out of control.

    The third thing is that grief can disguise itself as other things. Things that can include constant fatigue, confusion, feeling overwhelmed, disconnection, loneliness, and one of the worst ones-fear. CS Lewis wrote, in A Grief Observed, “No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.”This part of how grief happens can make it seem like grief is too scary or too big to even mention.

    Though your instincts may tell you to handle grief alone, the very best gift you can give yourself is to find someone who is able and willing to help. Everything else can flow from there- creating a plan that feels supportive, recognizing that it’s the feelings that may be out of control- not you, and experiencing that your grief isn’t too fearful to work through if there’s someone walking with you.

    Here at Clarity, there are several of us who can journey with you. I am one of those people, and I have advanced training to help with grief. Please reach out by calling the office to schedule a consultation or an appointment at (410) 853-7773, or by emailing 

    Thanks for reading,

    Terry Bouma, LCPC