When It’s Complicated to Grieve

Complicated grief how to walk through it

When It’s Complicated to Grieve

When someone passes away, the unfinished business that the relationship has can cause grieving to be very complicated. Unfinished business can be any issue or problem, words or conflicts that haven’t been resolved, or partnerships or divorces, etc. that have not been concluded. The unfinished business can stop the grieving process and cause people to avoid the funeral. Unfinished business can stop the grieving from connecting with others who are also experiencing the same loss. It is isolating and discouraging when we do not connect with others in our grief journey.

Some reasons that unfinished business can stop someone from attending the funeral and grieving in community are:
• Family conflicts/arguments
• Conflict between a divorced couple
• Feeling like no one wants you there
• Feeling that there is no point since that person is gone
• Estrangement from the family
• It feels uncomfortable to attend for a variety of reasons
• Feeling happy or relieved because of the loss
• Other complicating factors

Unfinished business can hinder our current personal relationships when we do not acknowledge the complicated loss. In these situations, grief may be even more painful because of the unfinished business that complicates our ability to grieve freely. It is important to note here, that just because there is unfinished business, you still need to step into the process of grieving and community even though the situation may have not be resolved. In fact, this might be the ideal time to write that note, deliver the letter, or make the apology in a card to place or read to the person we lost. It is never too late to make amends. This is a great way to reconnect to the community around you, share your grief together, and start to recover from the loss.

Grief should unify us despite the circumstances surrounding the loss. When we put away our differences and come together to support and comfort each other we gain purpose and meaning in our suffering. If we let the loss separate us more, complicate things even further, and distance us from each other then the loss losses its ability to create purpose from the depth of the pain. Pain produces endurance, endurance produces character, character produces hope and hope leads us back to our ability to experience purpose in our new normal.

Inevitably we will all go through a time of loss and grief. We can use this universal experience to come together in a supportive community. Our unique and individual journey can connect us to a community of common suffering. We can:
• Help each other accept that loss has occurred.
• Share our connection with the loss, the memories, and the special moments
• Share the lack of relational connections and the sadness and loneliness that can bring.
• Share how to move forward with life, exploring together what that “new normal” might look like as we learn to connect through the pain and suffering of our grief.
• Find a place to unpack our unfinished business as we are purposefully reinvesting our energy into forming new relationships.
• Come together and support each other in discovering what that new normal might be while learning about each other and the love we shared with the loss we are experiencing in common.
• Discover more common ground in our losses than we may have without the loss.

There is strength and encouragement in a group that bonds together while grieving. It is healing to grieve together in community, even if that community is not the one you would choose! If you would like help finding a supportive group to walk through your grief, please give me a call. 780.814.1224

Written by Kimberly Talmey

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