Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Make Sense of Grieving

by Jen Dondero

A friend recently shared the article, “This One Illustration Helped Me Make Sense of Grieving” by Haley Goldberg and it really hit a nerve for me. It was a realistic and tangible illustration of loss, which I felt everyone can understand and hopefully in some way relate to. The author saw a hand drawn image on Instagram with the caption, "It's different for everyone, but my personal experience is that grief doesn't ever go away, but it does change shape and it becomes something you can hold rather than something that overwhelms you—a part of you, rather than a burden." The old adage of “time heals all wounds” does not do justice to grief and each individual’s process of grieving. 

grief-main-image.jpgI appreciate the idea that grief transforms overtime and still exists as we never forget those we lost. Instead of being an overwhelming burden to carry, it becomes a part of who we are and is something that stays with us.

Goldberg goes on to write, “My grief still existed, but it didn't overcome me as much.” For those who are grieving, I hope this image gives you some comfort to know that one day the grief will transform shape and hopefully become less of unwielding burden.

In reading more about grief, I found this article really helpful in clarifying how adolescents grieve and the importance of understanding that each individual experiences grief in their own unique way.6 Ways that Adolescent Grief is Different. Some key takeaways for me were 
  • Adolescents may become isolated in their grief and withdraw from parents and adults. Keep offering support or to help them find a support group/network/therapist. 
  • They may also appear not be grieving as they crave normalcy as to not appear different from their peers. 
  • Adolescents are more likely to turn to the Internet and social media as they cope with loss. While support online can help, adolescents need to know that information can be inaccurate online and nothing can replace human connection and support. 

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