In the past week, I have been using the lens of “The Grief Process” when looking at the current chaos in our nation and around the world. I find an understanding of grief gives a vantage point that adds self-understanding, compassion and hope to my experience.
As I acknowledge my own feelings of loss, denial, bargaining, anger, and depression I can stop looking outside of myself for reasons why I am off balance. I can pull back from looking for someone to blame or someone to come in and put life back to how it has “always been.”
I find compassion in seeing that we are all experience multiple losses. There have been over 150,000 deaths in this country which are being mourned by family members, friends and co-workers. There are individuals and communities that have lost their economic base and financial ability to meet basic human needs. Still others have watched long years of preparation hit the wall of there being no way of continuing forward along the old course to their aspirations and dreams. We are going through this grief process together. Each of us has our own unique mixture of losses, but we are all riding the waves as individuals and cultures.
I find hope, because I know grieving is a process that leads to healing. It is messy, unreasonable, uncontrollable and unpredictable. Even so, history shows us how the human family has moved through grief in all its forms and intensities. All of us will know grief sometime in our lives. It is part of our common human experience.
We are all in this process together. Each one of us is experiencing loss in a unique way because of our cultural, economic, psychological, spiritual and physical setting. Not to mention our specific gifts, strengths and outlook on life. Every day, some people are raging with frustration and others have pulled the covers back over their head not able to get out of bed. Some are busy trying to get other people to behave in a more controlled and logical manner, and others are banging off the walls not knowing which direction to turn to find solid ground. Multiply the emotional turmoil of one grieving person by millions and is it any wonder that we are crashing into one another and finding it hard to find balance.
We will make it through the grief. As individuals and cultures we will begin discovering the small steps that allow us to walk forward into a new was of living. It will not be smooth or quick, but it is inevitable. In the meantime, we are all sharing this most human experience of grief. We are all grieving together.