Expressing Grief: Why Moving On Matters

I love how my day brings everything into focus. The background topic this week has been about expressing grief. Or the risk of getting stuck in grief.

I recalled today a general thread of conversations about letting go, moving on or feeling loss that had been demanding my attention for several days. Of course when there is a period of great change I have to let go of the old in order to be able to get hold of the new. There is a process to that which involves feeling the grief of letting go, of loss. Yet I know I am reluctant to express the grief. Even though I know I have to step through expressing the shock, disbelief, denial, anger, depression and acceptance of each loss in our lives. Sometimes the loss doesn’t matter too much – like loosing a glove – but often the loss is much more significant. So it’s painful.

That’s when I feel it’s important for me to make sure I am expressing the feelings as freely as possible. When I don’t do so the energy becomes stuck.¬†Stuck energy creates problems. As more and more emotions pile up on top of old stuff it can take a lot of effort to hold it all in. To keep plodding on trying to convince myself that nothing has changed. Yet if I express my feelings as soon as possible there is one thing I definitely avoid. An emotional blow out. A volcanic eruption. Though I’ve had a few in my life because I tried to ignore the grief. Now I try to allow myself more freedom with expressing my feelings. Eventually the energy is exhausted. There is no more for me to express. I am at the point where I can move on.

Moving on is a different kind of expressing my feelings. It’s the point at which I know I’m ready to re-engage with my life as it is now. Not as it was.

Because no matter how hard I try my life has changed. Though there have been times when I’ve tried every way I could to make it go back to the way it was. Usually ending up angry, depressed and still trying to deny a new reality. So moving on at the right time is a positive aspect of grief. When I have reached the point of accepting that my life is going to be different. Moving on gives me a space to bring in the positives that change has brought. Perhaps I’m stronger. Or I have a new focus for my life. I might even have found new people to enhance my experiences of relationships. Or a more optimistic outlook.

Whatever it is, I will have my hope restored. Because grief dims hope for a while. Expressing hope even feels like an impossible ask. But when I have started to move on it means I’m prepared to give myself another chance at life. To have dreams again. And to remember with gratitude whoever or whatever has been lost. To be thankful that I can feel enough love to recognise the pain of loss. Today I reminded myself to honour my grief. I am moving on in so many ways. There is no place for the old feelings, thoughts or patterns. And I reminded myself to let go, gently, easily and hopefully.

Day 543 of my blogging challenge 

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