Grief: something I wish no one ever had to deal with. At the age of 29, I never thought I would have lost two very important people in my life. I look back at how I grieved the loss of my grandmother and now my uncle and at times I would find myself frustrated and angry with God. Frustrated of the unknown. The tests that did not get to happen, the unanswered lab results, and the other unknown questions. Although I know they are both with my heavenly father, I was frustrated that I did not spend as much time with them, that I worked more than taking the time off to visit them. I was angry that I had to live through holidays and big events without them cheering me on or walking through the difficult parts of life with me.
“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.” – C.S. Lewis
Often times when we think about grief, we think about the loss of a person, specifically a loved one. While this can be true, grief also encompasses many other aspects of life. In processing grief we will consider not only the loss of that person, home, pet, career, business, etc. but also the loss of future dreams, plans, and hopes, and more expansive ramifications of loss. Some of these things you may be aware of and others might be lying just under the surface.
I often get asked “what caused you to want to be a counselor?” or “why addictions?” Often in this field one has either “been through the ringer themselves” or has personally experienced seeing someone they love struggle. This is my story:
The day I met Kyle (Dec 16,2007) forever changed my life. We met at a bar, shocker! His roommate was the first to approach me and his arrogance immediately turned me off. He must have noticed he was losing my attention because immediately he stated “did you meet my roommates?”. That was when I met Kyle.
Life is hard and seems to just get harder. And as I write these words, I feel like I understand this now, more than ever. This last month has been one of the most difficult for me, personally. At its worst, the month has come with unexpected losses, grief, terror and pain. Even as a counselor with a long list of “coping skills,” it would still be easy to let circumstances overwhelm me, because life is hard. However, I believe I have the choice, just like anyone else, to choose to suffer well. And I believe the core of this includes embracing pain and suffering. It sounds backwards and unpleasant. But what I have found to be true is this –
Those who embrace suffering, feel better quicker.