Handling Grief

Do you remember the rhyme?

If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands (clap clap)…

Right from childhood we are taught how to express our happiness, we are also taught, “Don’t worry be happy”. The state of happiness is very pleasant and who wants to come out of it. But then life is one cycle of happiness and sorrow, and we humans are a bundle of emotions. How do we express sorrow?

The emotion GRIEF, especially the grief over the death of a near and dear person will have shattering effect on one’s psychology if it is kept pent up within oneself. And this is one dark moment which one experiences at some point of time in life. A terrible sense of loneliness and depression can sink in after the loss, in spite of being in a crowd, surrounded by people, by halves and quarters. So, how does one express grief? May be we are expected to act dignified and gulp it all down?

True, there is no defined perfect way of expressing grief, yet we have to heal ourselves and get out of the situation. Most often it is our contacts that can work miracles in our road to normalcy after that shattering blow. Contacts can be with our relatives, friends, and even pets. Huge connections are not required, sometimes discussion with a total stranger gives you a new perspective to the situation. Communication with our contacts is a must, one may just need to talk it all out. Shutting oneself out of social contacts and squirming all alone can only lead to depression and self pity. Today the advances in technology are a boon to establish and nurture contacts.

Engaging oneself in fruitful activities, keeping the mind diverted by watching TV, movies, plays also help. One can try meditation too. Help those who are going through this phase of grieving. An affectionate smile from you followed by a warm hug can do wonders. Try spending a little more time to listen to their tale of sorrow, very often you will find your sorrow is negligible compared to others’.

This is definitely not a comprehensive list of what can be done, what other ways do you think are helpful to handle this emotion?

( The above image is a sculpted structure I saw in an exhibition recently. I sometimes wonder what goes on in the mind of sculptors when they sculpt images. This particular sculpture caught my imagination. It looks as if the man is sitting all alone and grieving or is in deep sorrow.)

Disappearance Of Hand Written Letters
Of Jasmine buds and Water Lily flowers

17 Responses to “Handling Grief

  • “Try spending a little more time to listen to their tale of sorrow, very often you will find your sorrow is negligible compared to others’….” – Very true. A line becomes smaller, if a bigger line is drawn next to it..!

  • a wonderful musing on grief… there’s nothing for me to add…

  • This was a very thought provoking post. Oh so true. I try (TRY) to take comfort in knowing some things are just out of my hands…

  • As adults we are supposed to know all these, but some of us do need to be reminded occasionally about the tenets of empathy and compassion, don’t we? Thoughtful post, Indrani

  • Hello Indrani What you said is true and very useful. I was once in my lowest point of my life that my worries did engulfed me but one day I just wake up and realized that I was not alone I have children who suffer most than I am. Thats how I fight the grief within me now I can say I am happy because i have children to be happy. They are my reason to live..

  • Great post! Thanks for sharing!

  • Better still… after listening to their tale of sorry, take them to a movie or for a round of miniature golf. Just don’t go t a sad movie.

  • eloquent

    as with all heavy loads, grief is less of a burden when it is shared.

  • That was a sensitive post about grief. I think being allowed to talk things through when you need to talk is the answer and being allowed not to talk about it when you don’t feel like it. Difficult for others to get the balance right!
    Time is a great healer but it doesn’t help to be told that!

  • Very thoughtful post, Indrani. Maybe that’s why we Indians have this protracted 9-16 -31 day ceremonies after death.People hang around or come back and just the contacts help you grieve and get over it by talking it over and over and living life too.

  • Indrani, this is profound. Two sayings I recall in this connection: 1. Happiness is a state of mind.
    2. Cry out the grief.
    Not quite satisfactory, I must say.

  • at first i saw jus a sculpture but after reading yr post, i look at it with new appreciation

  • When you are in grief, it is the time unconsciously we become more and more aware of our inner hidden world…
    nice post..
    me have a new one ..

  • As are all your posts, this was beautiful Indrani and heartfelt.

  • I have been through this feeling of lose…and now i feel that,its so human to feel sad and depressed for a while. I would want to think more and more about that person and recall all cherished moments spent with the person, even if at the end of it it will make me miss the person badly…But before the time heals the sorrow, before the passing hours makes the memory of the person fade and disappear behind mantle of forgetfulness, it is better to live these sad moments by missing them.

  • Thanks Kat, Polona, Mamageek, Swarna.

    Thanks Mimi… actually once we shift our focus and divert our energy to it sorrow diminishes to a large extent. I am glad you found your children to be a source of happiness.

    Thanks Michael.

    Thanks Randall… welcome to my blog and I liked your suggestion very much.

    Thanks Quilly, Maggie May.

    Thanks Kallu… so true.

    Thanks Abraham sir.

    Thanks Bengbeng, Man in painting.

    Thanks Ajeya… yes we miss our dear ones and have sad moments, try to share it with others and not brood alone.

  • “Engaging oneself in fruitful activities, …”

    That approach had helped me.

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