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    Navigating Grief: A Journey of Healing

    “What we once enjoyed and deeply loved we can never lose, for all that we loved deeply becomes part of us.” Helen Keller

    A close up of flowers on a grave. This could symbolize the loss of grief that grief counseling in Palm Beach County, FL can address. Learn how to recognize grief symptoms in Palm Beach County, FL by contacting a grief counselor in Palm Beach County, FL today. Grief is a universal human experience that we will all encounter at different points in our lives.  Whether it’s the loss of a loved one, the end of a relationship, a major life change, or even the passing of a dream, grief can wash over us like an overwhelming wave leaving us feeling lost in a sea of emotions. Being a clinician, I understood the concept of grief on a rational level. I took courses in graduate school and even interned at hospice but nothing prepared me for how transformative and messy the process of losing someone can be until I suddenly lost my husband in July 2022. That day changed my life and fundamentally who I am as a person.

    “Grief is not monochromatic. Grief, when fully lived, is just like nature itself, kaleidoscopic hued. Darkness and light, shadowy and bright, all of which is normal, albeit painful.” Dr. Joanne Cacciatore

    The Landscape of Grief

    Grief is not a singular experience but a vast landscape of emotions, thoughts, and physical sensations. It may sound cliché, but the term “riding the waves” really embodies what the grieving process is like. It can feel like a rollercoaster, with highs of nostalgia and love mingling with lows of sadness, anger, and confusion. The intensity of grief can vary from person to person and may ebb and flow over time. Understanding that grief is a process, not a destination, is crucial to navigating its ups and downs. It is also important to understand that there is nothing wrong with grief. Going through my own experiences, I often felt alone and like I was going “crazy”. I had never experienced such intense emotions and wanted to work through them and get better as soon as possible. However, I began to understand as time went on that having such heavy and complex emotions was not only normal but necessary in my healing journey.

    The Myth of Closure

    In our society, there’s often a misconception that grief should be neatly packaged and resolved within a specific timeframe. However, grief doesn’t adhere to schedules or deadlines. The idea of “closure” is a myth. Instead, grief evolves and transforms over time. Grief is something that will never truly go away but we learn to integrate it into our lives. It’s normal for anniversaries, holidays, or unexpected triggers to rekindle feelings of loss. I learned that it is important that I do not compare myself to others but rather honor my feelings and my husband in a way that is authentic to me. It has almost been two years since his passing and sometimes the emotions are more intense than when he first died. We have all heard of the stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.  I had the misconception that I would neatly go through the stages and my grieving would be over. In reality, I am learning to navigate through the messiness and find meaning and purpose. Giving ourselves permission to grieve in our own time and way is essential for true healing.

    A silhouette of a woman on a swing set reaching toward an empty seat. Learn how grief counseling in Delray Beach, FL can offer support in coping with loss by contacting a grief counselor in Palm Beach County, FL. Search for grief symptoms in Palm Beach County, FL to learn more today.

    Honoring Memories and Legacies

    One way to navigate grief is by honoring the memories and legacies of those we’ve lost. This can include creating rituals or traditions that celebrate their life, sharing stories and experiences with others, or engaging in activities that are meaningful to them. By keeping their memory alive, we find a sense of connection and continuity that transcends physical absence. When my husband first died, I was in such a state of shock and despair that I had to take down his pictures and get rid of his clothes as they were painful reminders of what I had lost. As time has gone on, I have begun to cherish his memories and mementos. Looking at his pictures, listening to his favorite music, and cooking his favorite meals are some of the ways I have stayed connected to his memory. I have also noticed that people like to shy around their memory out of fear of triggering my emotions, but having the opportunity to share stories and anecdotes regarding my husband has been helpful in my journey.

    The Importance of Self-Compassion and Support

    During times of grief, it’s common to experience self-criticism or feelings of inadequacy. We may question our reactions, wonder if we’re grieving “correctly,” or feel guilty for moments of joy amidst sorrow. Practicing self-compassion is essential in navigating grief. It involves treating ourselves with kindness, understanding, and patience, and acknowledging that grief is a complex and individual process.

    Seeking support is also vital. Grief can feel extremely isolating, but it’s crucial to reach out for support and connection. This can include leaning on friends and family members, joining support groups or therapy, or engaging in activities that provide comfort and solace. Connecting with others who understand or have experienced similar losses can validate our feelings and remind us that we’re not alone in our journey.

    A close up of a person with a clipboard reaching out to a person in support holding a tissue. Learn how a grief counselor in Palm Beach County, FL can offer support with grief counseling in Delray Beach, FL and other services. Search for grief counseling in Delray Beach, FL to learn more.

    Embracing Resilience and Growth

    While grief can be profoundly challenging, it also holds the potential for resilience and growth. Through grief, we develop resilience by facing adversity, learning to cope with difficult emotions, and adapting to life’s changes. We may also experience personal growth, gaining a deeper understanding of ourselves, our values, and what truly matters in life. As I mentioned before, I am not the same person I was before my husband died. While it was tragic and sad, I have become a stronger version of myself. I have learned to connect to my inner self and emotions. I always say this was the final gift from my husband, the ability to become to who I truly am.

    Start Working with a Grief Counselor in Palm Beach County, FL 

    Grief is a testament to the depth of our capacity to love and to the profound impact that loss can have on our lives. By honoring our emotions, sharing our stories, and supporting each other, we can navigate this journey with courage and compassion while finding healing and hope amidst the pain. Our team of caring therapists would be happy to offer support in coping with grief along your healing journey. You can start your therapy journey with Mangrove Therapy Group by following these simple steps:

    Other Services Offered with Mangrove Therapy Group

    Grief and loss counseling isn’t the only service our team offers. Mangrove Therapy Group is happy to offer support with a variety of mental health services including  trauma, EMDR, and PTSD/C-PTSDsubstance use disorderseating disordersbody image issuesanger managementanxietylow self-esteempersonality disorders, and much more. Please feel free to learn more about how we can support you. We also offer support with addictions such as process addictions“Failure to Launch” syndromeCBT, and DBT. Feel free to learn more by visiting our blog or FAQ page to learn more today!