People who are grieving usually experience 4 types of reactions – feelings, physical sensations, thoughts, and behaviours. I have experienced these in my own life, and they are a painful and sometimes a devastating process. But, it is a process that must be endured. There is no shortcut through grief. I recall that the pain was at times so great in my grieving that I often wondered if it would ever end, or would I ever be happy again. The anniversary of my child, Cathal, comes up a week from today, and it makes the range of feelings associated with grief very real to me at this time.
The range of feelings involved in grief are sadness, anger, guilt, anxiety, loneliness, fatigue, helplessness, shock, yearning, emancipation, relief, horror, terror, and numbness. Always remember that feelings are part of you. They are your friends. They will ultimately liberate you. Allow them. there is a very good poem by the Afghan poet, Rumi, called the ‘Guesthouse’, which explains very well how important it is to allow, even to welcome, your feelings as if they are guests. By welcoming them you make them less threatening. You can get this poem on the web under ‘Rumi’. Majella, my friend gave it to me, and I wrote it on the back of an envelope. She got it in Australia in a centre for Cancer, and I remarked how it coincided with my own philosophy. She responded ‘you don’t have cancer, Jim’. But my friend Majella, did accept her cancer and ultimately her death some months after this our last meeting. I’ll talk to you in a few days.