Grief. It’s Complicated – The Practical Side

Grief is the cost of love. If you love, you will grieve. In fact, the only way to ensure that you will not grieve is to never fully give your heart to another person or cause. We grieve life seasons, geographical locations, relationships, pets and of course, people.

There is a saying among therapists who specialize in grief that “old, sick people are the ones who are supposed to die.”  We expect people who are old or old and sick to pass away. So, when a child dies, or someone dies tragically—say in a car wreck or a fire—it complicates things. People are not “supposed to die young” and people are not supposed to die tragically. These types of death make grieving more difficult.

And then there are other types of complicated grief. The grief someone experiences when someone who abused or hurt them dies. The grief someone feels when a person dies by suicide, leaving a wake of confusion and unanswered questions. Or disenfranchised grief—like when a mistress dies and her lover cannot grieve her because their relationship was a secret.

I don’t want to minimize what I consider regular grief—like when we grieve someone who was expected to die. All grief is hard and everyone grieves differently. The one truth I have found as an experienced counselor is that the only way to manage grief is to go through it. You cannot go around it, only through.

If you are grieving, or even if you are experiencing anticipatory grief (grieving before the person dies), you may feel numb, angry, depressed or shocked. I have even heard people say they feel relieved when a loved one who was suffering died. You might feel many emotions. The important thing is to allow yourself to do so.

Our experienced mental health clinicians can provide the therapeutic space you need to explore your feelings, work through your grief and heal. Please contact Life Enhancement Counseling Services today at 407-443-8862 to schedule an appointment. 


Yolanda Brailey