Is it really possible to "recover" from grief?
Posted on 3rd June 2019 at 20:19
Is recovery from grief really possible?
This question is often the topic of debate, as those who have suffered a loss know that their lives will never be the same again. It has also been said that we do not recover from grief, but rather that we learn to live with it over time.
So...what is recovery?
When we refer to recovery in the context of the Grief Recovery Method, we refer to the set of action steps that allow grievers to heal the pain that they are experiencing as the result of a specific loss. We also discuss the myths that our society continues to pass down that can compound the feelings of sadness and isolation that grievers are already experiencing.
Recovery implies that your life will go back to the way it was before the loss occurred. Although this may be true in some cases, most often a loss means that our routines have changed immensely. Following completion of a Grief Recovery programme, grievers still need to create new rituals and habits following their loss, but are better capable of doing so. They can choose to remember their loved ones in these new routines in whichever way feels best.
When people hear the word “recovery”, they may worry that they will be asked to forget about their loved one. Recovery is not the same as forgetting – in fact, those who have completed a Grief Recovery Method programme have a better ability to enjoy their memories because the pain no longer consumes their every thought.
Recovery is not about eradicating uncomfortable emotions, like sadness or disappointment. By relieving their pain, however, grievers are able to feel joy and happiness again, too. Their loss no longer prevents them from being able to feel happiness and improves their overall capacity for joy.
Finally, recovery does not mean that grievers haven’t grown from their experiences. If anything, it makes them more aware of how much they’ve grown in spite of the losses they’ve encountered. At the same time they can regain their personal power and the feeling of responsibility for their own life.
By working through their pain, grievers are able to participate fully in life again – this means being able to concentrate, enjoying themselves more often and having meaningful relationships with others. It also means that they can look back on the entirety of the relationship with their loved one without it being reduced to just the pain of the loss.
The evidence that recovery is possible can be found in the thousands of grievers who have taken part in a Grief Recovery Method programme and have experienced the relief of completing a major loss. Scientific research on the Method has also demonstrated its effectiveness in influencing the elements of grief.
Losing someone you love is scary. The prospect of recovery can be scary, too. However healing does not mean more loss, it means being better able to function and take part in life once again. The pain you’re feeling as the result of your heartache does not need to last forever – recovery is possible if you’re willing to give it a try.
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