Loneliness and Solitude in Grief

Image via Wickipedia
Our language has wisely sensed the two sides of being alone. It has created the word loneliness to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word solitude to express the glory of being alone. ~ Paul Tillich

If you are among those traveling the winding path of grief, you're probably quite familiar with both these sides of being alone: loneliness and solitude.

With an overwhelming sense of missing the one you love comes the crushing awareness of all that you have lost. You’d give anything to be together again, if only long enough to be relieved of your loneliness and to be reassured that your loved one is still a part of your life.

At other times you may feel a need for solitude. You’ll want to be by yourself, to get away from other people and withdraw temporarily from the pressures and decisions of daily life. This need to turn inward, to reflect on your loss, to get in touch with your innermost feelings is common and not to be feared. In fact it can be a helpful time for you to find your tears and figure out where you are going from here.

Understanding and Managing Grief, February 19 - February 25, 2012

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Caregiving and Hospice, February 19 - February 25, 2012

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Common Myths and Misconceptions about Grief

Deutsch: Wiener Zentralfriedhof 20px 20px                      Image via Wikipedia
Loss is a fact of life, and so are the reactions that follow, but the grief that accompanies significant loss is frequently misunderstood.

Here are some of the more commonly held myths and misconceptions about grief, along with the facts to dispel them:

When someone dies, grief is felt only by that person’s family members and friends. In reality, grief is felt by anyone with an emotional attachment to the deceased, whether we know the person well or not. As we saw with the deaths of Whitney Houston and Steve Jobs, for example, we may mourn for public figures we like or respect and admire, even though we’ve never met them personally.

Grief is what we feel only when our loved one dies.  Grief  is a normal response to the experience of loss of any kind, including unusual and secondary losses. Such grief often goes unrecognized and unacknowledged. (Examples include disenfranchised losses such as loss of a cherished pet, and losses stemming from major life transitions such as graduation, moving, marriage or divorce, job loss, incarceration, disability or alteration in health status.)

Understanding and Managing Grief, February 12 - February 18, 2012

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Caregiving and Hospice, February 12 - February 18, 2012

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Coping with Pet Loss, February 12 - February 18, 2012

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Grief In The Second Year: Finding Your Way

Inconsolable grief           Image via WikipediaIf you find yourself (or someone you know) struggling with new waves of grief after having reached the one year mark, you are not alone.

A woman whose husband died 15 months ago described her experience this way:

Now it's just me and the dog. I was never very social -- my family was enough for me. If I were to become more social now, I'd basically have to change my personality -- and I just don't have the energy. People have been telling me to get a hobby or get active in some way -- but after I get home from work and walk the dog, I spend the rest of my time doing nothing at all. I feel paralyzed by grief. I know that our grief journey is a roller coaster -- but this roller coaster has been hurtling downward for quite some time. Is this what's called complicated grief? Am I depressed? I can't seem to get a grip on this and the future seems hopeless.

Most people expect to feel better after that first year of bereavement, as if they've reached some sort of significant milestone in their grief journey.  Unfortunately, this is another of those myths about grief that simply does not hold true. If you assume that grief will ease as the second year begins, you may soon discover that in many ways it seems much harder now than it did before. You may find yourself feeling even worse ~ and that can seem very unsettling.

Caregiving and Hospice, February 5 - February 11, 2012

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Voices of Experience: The Porcelain Starfish

At last, Deborah had finally found the love of her life, her best friend, her soul mate. Years later, when Larry fell ill and died, she thought she had lost him forever ~ until he found a way to let her know that he wasn't really gone. This is her story.

I love to collect anything blue and white. As a young woman, my grandmother gave me an antique blue and white hand painted vase. Over the years, she passed on to me blue and white tea pots, china, candle holders and more. I cherished each piece and had them displayed throughout my home. My blue and white collection had begun.

After a difficult time in my life, my sons and I had to relocate to another city. It wasn't an easy adjustment for me. I felt lost. I found myself having to start a new life; but I missed my home and being near family. 

Caregiving and Hospice, January 29 - February 4, 2012

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Understanding and Managing Grief, January 29 - February 4, 2012

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Coping with Pet Loss, January 29 - February 4, 2012

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