- On November 1, 2022
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By Chris Bassett, MA, LMFT
It’s been a gentle, gradual process into the autumn season this year. The fall colors are beautiful, and leaf raking season is here. 🍁 🍃 🍂The transition into our winter season can be one of the most colorful times of the year, here in Colorado. It’s a visual reminder that as our leaves turn color and fall, life changes too.
Recently I was with people walking through the grief of losing a loved one; he had been a precious soul, with a long life. And just a few short weeks ago, my kids and I attended the memorial service for a much loved classmate. Two griefs on opposite ends of the
age span — deeply felt by all who knew and loved each of these people.
The loss of loved ones is not the only time for grief. Sometimes there’s grief for a time in life that didn’t go as we’d hoped. When there’s an illness or injury, a loss of freedom, a financial crisis, or a relationship that ends, grief comes… often uninvited. Of course there’s no requirement to grieve, but as counselors we know it’s the journey through grief that heals our hearts. Time alone doesn’t heal grief. And grief is patient — it will wait as long as you make it wait; it won’t complete on its own simply because time passes. And yes, grief doesn’t have to be endless. You can reach a place of peace and acceptance,
which is often deeply connected in your faith.
People used to think that grief was a linear process, most often including a dose of denial, anger, bargaining, and depression that ends with acceptance and hope. Now we know that most people go through each of those elements in a spiral fashion, coming to them at different levels and intensities through the grief process. As counselors we often see people experiencing waves of grief. As the healing occurs,
the waves are not quite as big, and they come less often.
If you need help in your grieving process, we have a number of therapists on our team that can help with this process — If it’s a loved one you’ve lost, we can help you to remember your loved one well, celebrating the joys. At the same time, we don’t hold the view that the person we’ve lost to death was angelic. With the realness and honesty you can have in a counseling relationship, we can help you honor what you’ve experienced in your loss. It’s individually your experience, even if there are others who are close to you experiencing the same loss. We can help you make sense of where you’ve been, where you are now, and where you are going.
God is with you, and you are not alone. You don’t have to grieve in silence or delay your sadness. If you are stuck in your grief, or want some help to navigate your loss whether it happened this year, last year, or two decades ago, we’re here for you. You’ll be thankful for the growth and goodness that comes as you care well for yourself. We’d be honored to walk the journey with you.
A great book on this topic for people of all ages: Tear Soup
by Pat Schwiebert and Chuck DeKlyen.
There is a time for everything, including grief. What a comfort to know that the God who created you is still with you – right now, in this moment. May you be able to rest in His love.