The Ocean of Grief

Some have said, “grief comes in waves.” That sounds about right. I’ve seen people crumble into a heap of sadness and minutes later function perfectly well. Waves of despair. Waves of Contentment. Repeat.

My guess is that what we see/feel on top of our “ocean” is much different than what occurs many fathoms below the surface. And what occurs deep down within us, in our childhood memories or within the DNA of our legacy – affects us like the celestial bodies affect the tides.

Truth is, my upper, conscious mind isn’t ready to accept the loss of Brad in my life.

As a result, I am noticing that old patterns are reappearing. They are forces below the surface of my everyday life. These forces are remnants of the ways I chose to survive in the world as a teen when my parents split up.

In truth, these behaviors are trapped feelings that appear as they do in most of us, as external things like junk food tripping, mood-altering drugs or alcohol cravings, a desire to acquire (shopping addiction) and workaholism. (Ugh. And just when I thought I had beat most of those!)

A part of our minds seeks anything in order to avoid these darker feelings of grief, anger, confusion, loss, etc that we’re not ready to shine a light on… yet. It’s called “denial”.

So, I am experiencing a temporary, “on the surface” part of grieving. It’s the external, teenager-like stuff I talked about above. It’s his way of coping – avoiding the feelings he fears will destroy him and causing a storm of activity to distract him from them.

My job, then, is to awaken this other, wiser part of me – the inner, Loving Parent. It is he who can help me navigate through grief and back to love. It is the Loving Parent’s job to move my focus from the inner teen’s obsession with external solutions – when I can – and to gently guide him through the inner storm and back to calmer waters. I hope you can join me along the way.

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