Shouldn’t You Be Over That By Now?

Thoughts on working through grief with spirituality over religion with Deloris Rapp, M.Div. and Darius James, M.Div., M.Ed.

The assurance and realization that you’re not facing grief alone is one of the first steps toward healing. You are not alone. Both in the very physical interpretation of the word as well as the spiritual implications. 

There are others who’ve experienced hurt, loss, grief, even deep depression and harmful, intrusive thoughts as they come to terms with the death of a loved one, certainly.

Finding and confiding in others who’ve shared similar experiences can play a significant role in your grief journey.

But this isn’t the end of the story. Healing begins here. In fact, for many, healing begins at the moment they decide to cling to what is eternal, and hope for what is unseen, eliminating the thoughts of whether or not they “should be” over a significant loss within a certain amount of time. 

Chaplains Deloris Rapp, M.Div. and Darius James, M.Div., M.Ed. share their thoughts on how to cope with grief and loss in a healthful way. 

Watch their video series now.

Grief is a process, often crossing the expanse of a lifetime. However, we live in a culture that celebrates quick wins and surface-level responses to “how are you doing?”

And as we travel through the grief process – maybe for those of us even for the first time – it can be tempting to bury our emotions. To reply with the standard, “fine,” and move on with our days. 

Or avoid contact with those who will ask us about our grief experience all together.

But when you’re honest about your emotions, when you allow yourself to be vulnerable to the process of healing in both your heart and mind, you’re more likely to have a healthier transition into the next phase of your life without your loved one.

Grief isn’t accompanied by a set of rules or obligations that you should feel compelled to follow. It doesn’t require a set of rules or guidelines, and it certainly doesn’t happen within the confines of a structured, pragmatic religion.

This process isn’t something that will take a certain amount of time to heal from. In fact, the pain from the loss of a loved one can return in spades years, or even decades, after a death has occured. 

Grief isn’t something to “get over,” and it should be seen as an obstacle to overcome. It’s a companion that can allow you to find a deeper appreciation and meaning to life, if you’re willing to do the honest, soulful, heart-work it takes to get there.

We’re here for you as you begin this journey.

Learn more about the Whenever You’re Ready virtual series or sign up to receive updates on our email list.

What to Expect at the Start of Your Grief Journey

A guide through your first year with Lynn Allen, LBSW.

No matter where you find yourself after experiencing a significant loss, one thing is for certain: you can’t put a time limit on grief.

Many researchers will share that a grief journey may last between one to five years, depending on the intensity of the relationship of a loved one, those who’ve walked through it will share that grief is a lifelong journey.

While grief, in general, is full of many ups and downs, there are a few patterns that are similar across the board. Here are a few things you can expect your first year of coping with the death of a loved one according to Hospice & Palliative Care of the Piedmont Licensed Baccalaureate Social Worker, Lynn Allen.

Watch her video series now.

  1. You Can Expect to Have Grief Attacks

You’ve heard of heart attacks. You’ve heard of panic attacks. 

Grief attacks work in similar ways. You may find yourself having a relatively good day, in the midst of battling your loss and suddenly have a wave of grief come upon you. This is completely normal and can come at unexpected times. The more prepared you are to know you’re likely to face them ahead of time, the more success you’ll have in navigating them healthfully.

  1. Be Prepared to be Surprised by Others

While some of your friends, colleagues and even family members may say the perfect thing that make you feel better, more than likely, you’ll run into people who don’t know how to respond or support you in your grief. You may experience a sense of abandonment from friends who you thought would be there for you.

However, you may also experience deeper and more profound support from those you never expected to.

  1. Expect Your Own Health to Be Impacted

A few months following a significant loss, the adrenaline of the season begins to wear off. The busyness of caretaking, making important end-of-life decisions, and funeral plans will subside. This is when your health can take a hit. The weeks or even months of neglecting your needs — whether you realize it or not — may eventually catch up with you. 

Remember to do your best to eat well and exercise regularly to avoid serious health concerns following the loss of a loved one. See your physician and rest well. 

  1. Look for Signs of Healing and Moving On 

At about the three-to-four-month period following a loss, you can expect to have some good days that intertwine with the bad ones. Healing will begin to take place and you may be able to look forward to the future and realize that the future – though it may not feel that way right now – is bright. 

Know that though grief is a lifelong journey, the sadness you’re experiencing will get better. Give yourself permission to enjoy life and to laugh again. It will happen, it will just take time.

Learn more about the Whenever You’re Ready virtual series or sign up to receive updates on our email list.