A common phrase often heard after the loss of a loved one is, “I’m sorry for your loss.” These words from well-wishers clearly indicate the condolence is intended for the griever who now lives without a dear loved one. Recognizing that the survivor has lost someone precious is part of traditional mourning rites. Western culture, however, has moved away from age-old customs that not only honor the departed but pay respect to the bereaved, as well. We should all remember both halves of mourning.
The word loss concludes the phrase, “I’m sorry for your loss.” In the context considered here, the loss is best defined as the state of being deprived of, or, of being without something you once had. When something, or in this case, someone, has been taken away without your consent or control, it can bring some ugly and painful feelings of anger, fear, emptiness, loneliness, and so much more.
At some early point following our loss, many of us feel shameful for even daring to think of our personal hurt, don’t we? How can we be thinking of ourselves? All thought should go to the dearly departed because, after all, they are the ones who lost everything, right?
Wrong! You must move forward to a life of peace and purpose where the lost loved one becomes a part of the very core of who you will become. To do so, all of your emotions must be given credence, including the hurt you have for yourself. You must look inward and acknowledge that it is normal, acceptable, and healthy to feel, and express if you so desire, the pains you have for yourself, as well as for that dear loved one you miss so much.
For my fellow men who can relate to this, just make sure you aren’t doing so because of an unhealthy ego. You know what I mean…you’re more concerned about how others think of you than how you think of yourself??? I tell you what…I’ll just leave that whole ego thought right here for you to pick up and run with. Just grieve yourself. It’s okay to do it!
Look for Ron’s column every other Wednesday here on WSN-MO. R. Glenn Kelly can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org