Losing a loved one is probably the most tragic event in anyone’s life. Being able to cope with that loss can sometimes be even more difficult. Even though we know death is a natural phenomenon, we always find ourselves ill-prepared when losing someone we love. We feel so much pain, emptiness, guilt, anger and resentment. That too is natural because of the love and bond we shared with that person. There really is no magic formula to deal with grief. Everyone deals with grief in a unique way. There are, however, a few things you can do to alleviate the pain, one of which is sharing stories of bereavement.
Why is sharing stories of bereavement so important? If you have lost a loved one, one thing you might feel is loneliness. You feel lonely whenever you watch a movie and think about a joke you would have shared with your loved one. You feel lonely whenever you wake up without seeing their radiant smile or hearing that sweet voice. Loneliness, in this case, might not necessarily mean not being around other people.
In this case, loneliness is the feeling that those around you are not able to meet your current needs and fill that emptiness that comes with grief. This means that you might have dozens of friends and/or family members near you, but you still feel lonely because that someone who you could confine in and who ‘gets you’ is missing. The truth is, no one might ever be able to completely fill that void, but there are people around you who can relate – people who can hold your hand and walk with you. You are not alone, this why sharing stories of bereavement is important.
The Healing Power Behind Sharing Stories of Bereavement
Sharing your grief story is important because it helps you to connect with people who have gone through or are going through similar situations. Just knowing that you are not alone in this is a great relief. Sharing stories of bereavement can help heal emotional wounds because it requires you to take a closer look at those memories, rather than avoiding them or running away from them – pretending they are not there. Those memories might never go away, no matter how much you try to avoid them. Sharing your grief stories helps you learn to cope with them and move forward with them – in a healthy way.
Sharing stories of bereavement is leaning on people who care about you, or who have gone through comparable experiences. There are people around you willing to take some of that weight off your shoulders, but they don’t know how, or they want you to ‘let them in’. Share your story, tell them how you feel, and tell them what you need – whether it’s lending a sympathetic ear or a shoulder to cry on. ‘Opening up’ and sharing your grief story is not a sign of weakness, it takes strength and courage to do that.
“Vulnerability isn’t good or bad. It’s not what we call a dark emotion, nor is it always a light, positive experience. Vulnerability is the core of all emotions and feelings. To feel is to be vulnerable. To believe vulnerability is weakness is to believe that feeling is weakness. To foreclose on our emotional life out of a fear that the costs will be too high is to walk away from the very thing that gives purpose and meaning to living.” – Dr. Brené Brown
As stated earlier, there is no magic formula or specific method to grieving. Different people cope with grief in different ways. However, while you are searching for the most appropriate ways to cope with your loss, it is important to remember that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Sharing your grief story is not a weakness, it is probably the most fearless thing you can do at this point in your life, one which could help you feel less lonely and isolated.