On Loss and Grief

We celebrated the mothers in our life this past weekend. While it was a day of celebration for many, it’s also a day filled with mixed emotions for some as it reminds them of a mother they never get to know, care for or connect with.

And as if to follow up on that, I was locked in a training session on Bereavement & Grief for the better part of yesterday. One of my takeaways from the session is this: Mourning is for a period, but grief is forever. Wow! That was an eye opener for me.

Like me, most people confuse mourning with grieving. When we ask the bereaved to move on and forget their loss, we’re actually asking them to do the impossible. No loss, be it death or divorce, ever leaves you the same unless there’s really no relationship, connection or any attachment. You may find better ways of coping with the loss, but you never can erase the memory.

However, there’s something we can do, and this is the good news. In our mind, there are two power centres. There’s the memory bank where all notable events and persons in our life is stored, and there’s the imaginative centre. With memory, you replay the past and with your imagination, you preplay the future. So, instead of dwelling on the memory to keep refreshing and reliving the pain every year, we can tap into our creative imagination to honor that loss.

This is what I mean: Find something good you can do to remember that person or event every year.

It could be by doing something that you would have loved to do for that person to another person. It could be by making a donation to a charity, sponsor an event or do one act of kindness. As that date is approaching every year, your mind will be occupied with creative ideas of what to do, where to send your gift and so on.

But let me admit: This will still not erase the memory, but it will lessen the pain.