Loss, Grief, and Bereavement

DSC_0667Impermanence is the bedrock of human experience.

Loss, in its innumerable forms, is thus an inevitable and inescapable part of being human. Grief is the experience of mourning a loss. And “bereavement” describes the spiritual status of anyone actively grieving. Many if not most people describe themselves as feeling emotionally devastated when they are suffering this way.

For many reasons, some losses are easier to absorb and assimilate than others.

In cases where loss has knocked the wind out of you, the first thing to remember is that we live in a society which does a poor job making space for the reality and truth of this dimension of human experience, on the contrary tacitly (if not explicitly) perpetuating an expectation that any disruption in your functioning (emotionally, interpersonally, professionally) will be minimal and short-lived. Without acknowledgement and support, we are more vulnerable to feelings of self-doubt and isolation which can complicate and bog down an otherwise natural healing process. You’d probably be quite surprised to find out how many people all around you are suffering this way.

For these and a host of other reasons, loss, grief, and bereavement can be keenly stressful.

Fortunately, there’s The New Plan A and its essential apothecary from which you can always choose the remedy most needed at the moment is reliably right here at your disposal. There’s no way around the fact that some human experiences are excruciatingly painful. But with increasingly skillful self-care, you can reduce your own human suffering. At the times when that’s as good as it gets, a little relief can go a long way. Do your practices, have faith (and, if you have the strength, roll up your sleeves). Remember to breathe.