Whether it’s the death of a loved one, divorce, or the loss of a job, we all have to deal with grief at some point. Grief is a normal healing process. After all, your life has been permanently changed when you suffer such a loss, and it requires healing to get past the event and move on.
While grief is painful, there are many things to learn from grief. Challenging times provide the possibility of growth.
Learn from your grief:
1. Grief creates gratitude. You might not think you have anything to be grateful for, but grief happens when things are taken away from us. Grief can help you to appreciate what you had, as well as what you still have. It’s easy to take things for granted. Grief is a tough way to learn to be more grateful, but the opportunity is there.
2. Grief can help you engage with your life. It’s very easy to float along without really committing to anything. Tragedy can be a wake-up call and remind you that your time is limited. There are only so many days left. Ensure that you’re making the most of each day.
3. Grief can’t be solved by avoiding it. You might try to avoid your grief by staying busy. But you can’t stuff your grief into an overhead compartment without something falling on your head sooner or later. You’ll find that your grief will be waiting for you and your sadness will get your full attention eventually.
4. Grief can help you to refocus. Perhaps you spend too much time focused on work at the expense of your family life. Use grief as a time of reflection. Are you spending your time in the best manner for you? Have you ever thought about it?
5. Life doesn’t stop. After a tragedy, life continues and 99.999% of the people on the planet are unaffected. Everything keeps moving forward. Your life must continue, too. It doesn’t seem fair that the world doesn’t take a timeout for your grief. But there’s always someone grieving somewhere. Nothing would ever get accomplished if the world stopped operating.
6. You can move on knowing that things can’t get worse. You may have had the worst experience you’ll ever have. There’s a certain relief in that knowledge. Everything can seem easy by comparison after you’ve successfully dealt with grief.
7. Bitterness only creates more pain. Some of us tend to be bitter regardless of the occasion. Grief highlights the fact that bitterness isn’t a viable strategy for dealing with life. The Holocaust survivors with the happiest lives were those able to avoid bitterness. Grief can facilitate a less bitter view of life.
8. You’ll find out who your friends really are. It’s uncomfortable to be around others in pain. But your true friends will still be there for you. The others will find an excuse to stay away.
9. You can overcome anything. Your life will eventually recover from your loss. It’s surprising how good things can be after enough time has passed. You can then approach the future with the knowledge that you can handle anything life has in store. You’ll be stronger than you’ve ever been.
10. You become less small-minded. After dealing with great heartache, it’s not easy to be petty. The small things become even smaller. The important things become more important. Grief can be a blessing in this regard. Your life has the potential to become richer in the future.
Grief gives you an opportunity to reevaluate your life and refocus. Turn to your friends and family during difficult times and one day soon, you’ll be able to move forward, stronger than ever.