A lot of suffering masquerades as grief. Just because we are suffering for years after someone has passed on doesn’t mean that we are actually grieving. It simple points to the fact that we are stuck in grief. Because this is so common, many of the coming reflections for this month of remembrance will explore where and how we might be stuck. One is where we may never have engaged in the grief process. If the loss was traumatic we may have been given medication. While this may have helped us in the short term, it also robbed us of that precious time following the death when it was most appropriate to grieve and when others were there ready to offer support. To have used alcohol or food to aesthesis our pain does not make it disappear. Similarly to return to work too early in the hope of putting our grief behind us is a sure way to ensure that one day it will again be in front of us. To bottle our feelings and not talk about our loss is a sure sign that it has yet to be resolved. The stiff upper lip approach to grief where we don’t cry outwardly doesn’t mean that we are not crying inwardly and ultimately it may be our bodies that will be forced to cry the unshed tears of our souls when they become sick.
Fr Jim Cogley