401.331.1244 info@jcsri.org

Why can’t I move on or just get over it?

Are you feeling lost in grief? Wondering if your emotions are ‘normal’ or why moving forward seems impossible?  These thoughts are a common struggle after losing a cherished partner, parent, or close loved one. But if you’re grappling with these questions, remember whatever you’re feeling is valid and acceptable.

One of the most common misconceptions about grief is that we must move on or that there is a set time for grieving. This is not true!  If we have loved someone, we are going to miss them when they are gone, nothing is going to replace them or completely fill the void of their absence. However, with time, we can learn how to live with grief. Perhaps, we may even learn to feel a continuous bond with our deceased loved one in a healthy, comforting, and supportive manner. It will take time to discover more of who we are in this new chapter of our life as we continue to walk with the memory of our loved one, but not the physical presence.

Grief is a universal human experience, yet navigating grief is deeply personal and complex, affecting individuals in profound ways.  The most well-known approach for coping with grief is Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’s five stages which include: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. According to this model, grief often unfolds in stages. However, it is important to recognize that these stages are not always linear or uniform for everyone. Individuals may move through these stages at their own pace and may revisit certain stages multiple times.  (If this model does not resonate with your own experience, please know grief experts have also identified other models and approaches for navigating and understanding the grief process, and we encourage you to reach out and explore other frameworks further with a grief counselor or expert.)

Grief is both physically and emotionally exhausting. It is crucial to prioritize self-care and address the physical and emotional aspects of healing. Remembering to get plenty of rest, proper nutrition, and movement will help maintain your overall wellness during this difficult time. Be gentle with yourself and others, be realistic about what you can and cannot do, and schedule time to be alone to let yourself feel your emotions. Find healthy outlets of expression such as journaling, creative arts, or local support groups to provide a sense of connection and validation. It is important to feel whatever it is you need to feel. As Megan Devine writes in her book, It’s Okay to Not Be Okay, “We ‘re not here to fix our pain, but to tend to it.”

How we choose to tend to and gradually rebuild our lives alongside our grief experience (rather than seeking to overcome it) is uniquely our own experience. While grieving brings profound pain and sorrow, it can certainly be a catalyst for personal growth and transformation. Through this process, you may discover a deeper appreciation for life, a renewed sense of purpose, and a greater sense of empathy and compassion. Each moment, each day, teaches us more about ourselves and shapes the person we are becoming without our loved one physically beside us. Learning to embrace the path forward with openness and resilience helps us to feel fulfillment in our lives once again.

Jewish Collaborative Services extends a supportive hand during your journey of grief. Our compassionate team offers individual grief counseling, as well as running a monthly support group meeting every third Wednesday of the month from noon to 1 pm starting Wednesday, March 20th and concluding on Wednesday, November 20th.  Although grief is deeply personal, it often intertwines with shared emotions and experiences. Coming together in this community, we find solace in the shared stories of loved ones and in supporting each other. In this community of support, we often forge bonds that help us navigate the unfamiliar terrain of grief. To join our virtual sessions, kindly register at JCSRI.org or click here. For those interested in personalized counseling, please call 401-331-1244 to schedule an initial session for individual grief counseling.

Remember, there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to grieve. However, if the intensity of your grief becomes overwhelming, impacting your daily life, or leading to thoughts of self-harm, please reach out to trusted friends or family members, seek professional support, or call 988, the suicide and crisis hotline, for immediate support. You are not alone.



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