Holly Oxendale, Executive Director
PHONE: (814) 682-692-2233
Grief is a process, not a single, one-time event that we show up for and leave once it concludes. It is a feeling that we carry with us throughout a lifetime. It ebbs and flows, transforms, and is molded into our life, but it is present and continues to be.
For many in today’s culture, running away from our grief or hiding from it is the goal…if ignored, it will go away. We’ve all heard the phrase, “don’t let them see you sweat.” You can say that the grief version of that is, “don’t let them see you cry.” You can easily replace “cry” with mourn, grieve, breakdown, get angry, show any emotion – whatever may be wrongly portrayed as a sign of weakness and vulnerability. But the truth is the exact opposite: confronting your grief, essentially welcoming it into your new reality, and getting to know it, is what can help you find hope and healing during times of loss. Understanding that your grief is unique and accepting that your journey is truly your own and embracing it is what will bring comfort.
I have seen time and time again (and have done it myself), someone apologizing to those around them for tears of sadness and grief shed at “inopportune” times. Why are we apologizing? This is real life. We all have loved and lost on some level, and in turn have experienced the grief that comes along with that after a loss. Mourning openly and around others is a step on the pathway of grieving.
Dr. Alan Wolfelt outlines the six reconciliation needs of mourning:
1) Acknowledge the reality of the death.
2) Let yourself feel the pain of the loss.
3) Remember the person who died.
4) Develop a new self-identity.
5) Search for meaning.
6) Let others help you – now and always.
By acknowledging these needs, accepting your own grief journey and embracing the reality of it, you can continue to live your best life. This is not necessarily easy. Some pieces may come effortlessly, while others could be a struggle. And there will be moments of extreme sadness, possibly frustration and anger, but there will also be times of happiness and laughter…in fact, in your own time, and in your own way, your grief journey requires it.
If your grief journey is leading you in the way of needing support from others who have also
experienced a death, please contact Tides for support. We provide peer grief support to individuals of all ages, children ages 4-18 and adults. We can be reached at (814) 682-692-2233 or firstname.lastname@example.org .