By Melanie VanderPol-Bailey, MSW, CSW-PIP
Several of us took time during the Memorial Day holiday to visit cemeteries and remember those who have served our country as well as dear family members and friends who have been laid to rest. Each headstone represents a life that had an impact, especially to those who love, remember and miss them. Life after loss can feel impossible and even undesirable when we are in the depths of grief.
Mirabai Starr, in her book Caravan of No Despair, beautifully writes about her loss of her daughter Jenny. She writes, “There is no map for the landscape of loss, no established itinerary, no cosmic checklist, where each item ticked off gets you closer to success. You cannot succeed in mourning your loved ones. You cannot fail. Nor is grief a malady, like the flu. You will not get over it. You will only come to integrate your loss. . . . The death of a beloved is an amputation. You find a new center of gravity, but the limb does not grow back”.
Continuing to live after loss can be so difficult. We feel connection with our loved when we remember and share story. Grief is not a process that can be rushed, or a set of linear stages that one can easily work through. Time doesn’t necessary heal, rather in time we can begin to hold our suffering and remember the treasured joys and moments.
If you find yourself struggling to find a way forward after loss, you are not alone. Many people find value in participating a grief support group or individual therapy. At River Counseling and Sioux Falls Psychological Services, we meet you where you are, offering hope. You may schedule an appointment with the Platte office at 605-337-3444, or meet with one of our Sioux Falls Psychological Services therapists from your own computer or smartphone. To schedule an appointment please call 605-334-2696.