Grief, sorrow, sadness; is as much a part of our lives as happiness. Oh! Yes, I know sounds scary. Nobody wants to go through such phase. How much unwelcome it is to all of us. But at times, even before we know, grief creeps in all of a sudden.
It was the morning of the summer of May, a couple of years back, someone broke the news to me of the death of my dearest friend. We had spoken a couple of days back, hardly knowing that it would be the last time. And here I was completely shattered. I had no idea what to do with it. I had no clue how to deal with it. But with time, I did.
How to deal with sadness and grief?
Let me share with you some of the ways of dealing with grief;
Mourn, mourn, cry, weep, take your time, it’s perfectly normal to lament for. Don’t feel shy about it. Furthermore, all these will help you in the long run to admit the loss. To get over the shock, you need to accept the reality. You need to come out of the delusion that your sorrow struck mind created. You need to come out of the false impression that things will be same as before. No, they won’t be.
The loss of someone beloved can be one of the most tragic episodes of a person’s life. And accepting the bitter truth will be good for you, the sooner the better.
We all go through such “stay stuck” moments of misery and sadness. It looks then as if it is going to stay forever. But no, it does not. By accepting the reality you are already on the track. That way you slowly but surely go beyond the initial delusion and despondency. No need to fret much about being stuck in the sorrow for a while. We all do.
Accept the inner shock, accept the void, admit the reality.
There you are. It takes a hell lot of courage to admit the void, and a hell lot more to think thus; “I am going to do well without you”. “I am not just going to live, I am going to extract the best out of today”. With all your heart, say these words to yourself, feel the power of the words, let them sink in deep into your mind.
You cannot imagine the power of this until you try it for yourself. Yes, journaling can be one of the most powerful tools to deal with stress, loneliness, anxiety, depression. Journaling is simply writing down your private thoughts and feelings in your journal or diary.
Once you get them down on paper, you will clearly feel a change. You will clearly see a newer perspective, once you face your fears and anxieties. No one is going to judge you, that’s the best part of it. It’s just you and your thoughts.
It helps you identify your fears and negativities, or the reasons behind your stress or loneliness. It helps you see a broader picture once you jot them down. So, try it, it’s better late than never.
Use your emotions well
Channel your emotions well. Learn to use this emotional surge into something creative. Probably you write well, or maybe you are a good artist. Take up your pen or brush and direct the flow of those unspoken grief-stricken emotions into something creative. Or maybe you can contribute to some social cause, do something for the more unfortunate ones. All these will make you feel much better.
Last but not the least, if you are a spiritual seeker, take up this as an opportunity to explore higher dimensions of life. Take the pain as an opportunity blessed by the divine to take you closer to Him.
How to direct grief and misery to grow spiritually?
At the death of my best friend, these three queries intrigued me like anything.
- How can I be free forever?
- Can I go beyond suffering?
- How to be blissful ever?
I was not a God-hater, but neither a God-lover. Never ever bothered much about to look up to Him, to love Him or hate Him, I was totally indifferent. That tragic incident made me realize how tiny am I, how powerless and helpless. I ended up praying to Him, how did that happen I had no clue!
I was in the midst of a mental storm, and I sought His refuge, much as Arjuna sought from Lord Sri Krishna. Our dilemmas and pain are more or less akin to what Arjuna faced in the battlefield of Kurukshetra. We have our own little battles to fight.
I did not know at that time what “self-surrender” was and with that frame of mind, it’s not that easy to understand such things. But that is what I did unknowingly or probably the divine was gracious enough to make me do so.
If you are in the midst of any such situation today, this is what you can definitely try doing. With all your faith and love, surrender to the Lord. Throw away all your responsibilities, all your fears, dejections, anxieties upon the Lord. Let Him know that you have none other than Him. Make Him your sole support. Pray unceasingly. He surely listens. He surely will draw you closer to Him than where you are today.
P.S 1. Copyright of the video @Vedanta Sacramento, used for educational purpose.
P.S. 2. The Bhagavad Gita and the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna help me steer through the dilemmas of my life. I am not being dogmatic here, you can definitely try out reading this eternal philosophy for once. If not keen on, you will definitely find your answers in other Holy books and spiritual teachings.
P.S. 3. Of course, we do have the option of seeking personal or professional help. You can always talk to your trusted friends and family. If needed you can refer to a professional consultant. There is nothing wrong with it.
Stay Blessed 🙂