Mosaic Mental Health and Wellness: Anthony Arthur On Grieving
Grieving has no rules. There is no such thing as a consistent or right way in which to grieve. It is a unique experience to every individual, and therefore cannot be restricted or defined by others. The reason for this is that no one has ever felt how you feel toward the person you're grieving. They did not have the relationship you had with them. They never felt what you felt towards them. So how can they tell you what is right or wrong in how to grieve their loss? Kubler-Ross was a pioneer of thought in that she was willing to discuss a topic, death, that no one else would get near. She theorized that individuals experience five different stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, acceptance, and depression. She was willing to be honest about the inevitability of death and our responses as human beings toward it. This opened up a whole world of exploration and research which has shaped our modern therapeutic approaches.
Kubler-Ross did not pose rules. She posed theory and a brave, much-needed one at that. I must say though that it is of no surprise that the ideas she presented to our society were interwoven into our cultural framework as rules. Due to this, she later offered more clarity and direction in what she was theorizing and stated that it was not guaranteed that every individual would experience each stage. She also stated that the stages can be experienced in any and every order, when and if experienced. This provided a level of clarity to the theory she had posed that was much needed for our understanding.
Grieving is a difficult, uncomfortable experience. We are so desperate to avoid the pain and get past it that we can quickly lose sight of why we are grieving in the first place. When we lose someone special to us, we have no choice but to accept the vulnerability we all experience - death. The reason for the hurt is that you had a relationship with someone that you valued greatly. Your pain is stemming from your fulfilled relationship.
If I were to offer you a deal, to wipe all memories and connections to the person you lost, you wouldn't take it. The memory is too valuable. The worth of the individual whom you're grieving is too great. That means you must grieve, and the characteristics of your grief are yours to experience and play out and explore. No person has the right to tell you how to grieve, and it is only due to the inevitable nature of death that I state we must grieve. Here at Mosaic Wellness, we understand that the grieving experience is a delicate matter that must be handled with great care. We want you to know that if you are hurt and grieving that we are here to listen to you and walk with you through your journey. Please remember, there are no rules. It does not matter what you're grieving or how long, what matters is that you are grieving.. and that is worth talking about.