by Shannon Hui
With all of the traumatic events happening in society today, it can be very difficult to separate yourself from what gets circulated in the news and on social media.Having access to all this information is a double edged sword: although it keeps us aware, the constant exposure of loss and death can weigh heavily on the soul. With each tragedy hitting closer and closer to home, nearly every day is spent in heartache. It is easy to feel like everyone is grieving all the time in a world of turmoil where children are dying from mass shootings, people of color are still facing police brutality and families are being torn apart.
Even if these things are not happening directly to you or near you, it is okay to feel deeply and acknowledge you may have grief—the overwhelming feeling of deep sorrow that accompanies loss.
Right now, our country is losing morality, and that hurts.The pain you feel gnawing away at you from the depths of your stomach, it can completely cloud you and even mask itself as numbness or anger.
Sometimes you might feel like you just want to go off, and that can come from these lingering sentiments of grieving for better days.
But it can and will get better, and in the meantime, we have to take care of ourselves and each other.
So, here are four ways you can move through the pain:
ONE: Check your reactions of denial and anger at the door, and give yourself time to heal.
For most, feeling numb or angry are survival instincts to stop the physical pain. However, it’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to feel helpless. Understand that loss is inevitable and it never gets easier. It hurts to the core. Allow yourself the time to work through it. Be patient in understanding why something was so painful. Let it wash over you. You will have good days and bad days. Some days, you’ll wake up feeling normal. Other days, every little thing will remind you of what you lost and occasionally, it’ll break you. This is normal. Your body is healing. In the process, wounds reopen. Healing takes time. Take as long as you need.
TWO: Find comfort in your loved ones and your community, and stay involved in the things that give you joy.
Give yourself a chance to communicate your sadness. Talk to your family, friends, co-workers, or whomever you tend to lean on in times of crisis. If it’s hard to speak to others, look for opportunities to tangibly express your emotions. Write about it, draw something, or join an organization that furthers your agenda. If others are grieving with you, reach out. Make a support group. Get involved in anything that can offer you a small break from being inside your head. THREE: Take solace in the fact that everything happens for a reason and the only thing in your control is yourself.
With grief often comes guilt. Questions like, “What if?” or "Why didn't I know this was happening" or “Could I have done more?” often surface during this time. Find forgiveness for yourself and acceptance for whatever is going on in your heart and mind. Time heals everything. And once you're ready, you might be able to turn that sadness into action. FOUR: Discover ways to honor your grief and find the light at the end of the tunnel.
Ask yourself, in what ways were you able to gain something? A new perspective? A guardian angel? A life lesson? An awakening? Revel in the fact that you were able to take something away from this experience and find gratefulness in what you learned. Pay tribute to your grief by being proactive about the causes that mean something to you. What do you stand for? Get involved in activities that make a difference and further your agenda.
The best way to honor grief is through celebrating your life and the life of others by making the world we know worth living in.
May we all become the light that we needed in times of despair. May we all join together as a supportive community to make the difference we need to see in the world. May we harness our pain to fuel us to create a better life for our future.
Sending an immense amount of love and light to those who are hurting. I am praying for your peace.
What has brought you grief in the news lately, and how have you been dealing with it? Share with other women in the comments below!