Grief. What is the problem with models?

Grief in so unique and subjective that trying to box it in into a model seems always wrong. Everyone experiences their grief differently, so the so-called ‘models of grief’ need to be taken very cautiously. Think of them as descriptive rather than prescriptive. They provide just general references that may (or may not) be helpful to understand the changes you go through in your personal journey.

Some people talk about their grief as being in a Roller Coaster: Just the minute you think you are getting better and all the worst part is finally behind you, you plunge again into stabbing pain, despair and confusion. It is as if the wound is reopen over and over again ‘like a bomber circling round and dropping its bombs each time the circle brings it overhead’.

In his book “A Grief Observed” C.S.Lewis described grief as a ‘long and winding valley where any bend may reveal a totally new landscape. Sometimes the surprise is the opposite one; you are presented the with exactly the same sort of country you thought you had left behind miles ago.’

So don’t worry so much about how well or bad you are grieving. Your body has an internal wisdom and knows the path to healing, in the same way that your skin knows how to heal a wound that it has been inflicted on it. You only can help that process with lots of self-care and self-compassion. Time will take care of the rest.

What it seems to be clear is that grief is a process, meaning a series of changes, unique to you, and that talking about it can help you to go through it. Your grief belongs to you, there are not ‘shoulds’ nor ‘How to’ cards. You don’t need solutions, or move from it. Just being acknowledged. 

There are things that cannot be fixed, they can only be carried.

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