To the Editor:
Grief is an unplanned journey with little relation to time or distance. We try to treat all deaths the same, but each loss is painful and must be handled in its own way. Recovery from loss is as individual as the death itself.
While we may recognize that most mourners go through stages: denial, anger, bargaining and acceptance, the list means little. Some emotions pop up, stay up and become stumbling blocks to recovery for months or years.
As a society we expect grieving people’s lives to return to normal within less than a month from the time of loss. In reality, many funerals are held while those most affected are still in shock, and listeners grow tired of hearing grief stories before the grieving individual has come to terms with the loss.
However, the stories need to be told if healing is to happen. Fortunately, grief support groups help fill the gap. Trained facilitators share their experiences – from how loss was handled to how normal it is for family members to react differently to the same death. It is not unusual to run from grief by indulging in drugs, food, alcohol, or by paying excessive attention to other loved ones. Years ago we held wakes in homes and shared stories about the life of the deceased. We kept memories alive while celebrating the life of the departed. Now, we sanitize death and attempt not to grieve. Support groups provide a safe place to remember, a place to laugh and to cry.
If you or someone you know is struggling with unrelenting sorrow, please contact a grief support group.
St. Anthony Parish in Davenport offers nine-week sessions four times a year. A new group begins Aug. 7, 3:30-5 p.m. Call Ginny (563) 650-1783, Jo (563) 823-5929 or the rectory (563) 322-3303 for more information.
To the Editor: