Grief is a part of our fabric. We all understand loss and yet generally we aren’t very good at dealing with all that loss brings with it. Grief comes from many places. We understand that death brings grief but few of us give life’s other losses the time of day. It doesn’t matter whether you feel sad and lost from the death of a loved one or the death of a family pet. It doesn’t matter whether you feel sad because you are growing old or loosing a job, or if your sadness comes from the end of a relationship or any significant change in your life that you do not welcome. All that matters is that you feel the hurt that a life loss brings with it. We are very good at “being good”. Slip and fall, “I’m good”. Lose a love relationship, “ I’m good”. Experience the death of someone you cared for and counted on, good again. It’s not cool or acceptable to be a mess, but a mess is exactly what’s required when you are feeling the effects of loss. If you don’t look after a small physical problem chances are it may grow and become something much larger. The lump ignored. The fever untreated. The cut that won’t heal. The shortness of breath you pretend doesn’t exist. All these and many others are things that we all know need to be faced and cared for. The sad, broken spirit needs care and attention too. We accept advice from others, who pat us on the back and tell us things that aren’t very helpful. “You’ll get over it”. “Tomorrows another day”. “Keep a stiff upper lip, crying doesn’t help”. Or worse, they tell you how they had it tougher than you. Grief that isn’t acknowledged and dealt with will fester and become a problem one day. Dis ease soon becomes disease. It will cause you emotional problems and likely physical problems too. If you are forlorn because you feel the sadness of loss, find a way to acknowledge it. If possible find someway to express your feelings. They are as real as the lump, the fever or the shortness of breath and need to be cared for and managed too. Write them down, talk about them, paint them, sing them, scream them, and cry them out. Try hard not to let others play down your hurt and try not to buy into some of the popular notions that are so prominent where feelings are concerned. Only through working at your emotions and knowing that you have permission to feel, to hurt and then recover from the real pain of your loss do you stand any chance of truly healing. Loss not dealt with today will be loss that you will have to face tomorrow. It’s ok to hurt, to be sad, to be a mess and to come apart when your spirit is battered from grief. In fact, all of these things are essential. The basics of what you need to help you through have been laid out in the writings on the Grief and Recovery Page. Take what has been offered and know that you have permission to hurt and to work through your pain and most of all, permission to be different, new and healthy again.