Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Grief and what to do with it ...

Nothing is harder than loss. In life, you confront it. You go through the stages of grief. There comes a point where everyone expects you to be over it. But what does that mean? There is no schedule for grief.

Perhaps the difference between the very young and the very old has to do with that schedule that does not exist. Young persons, most of them blessedly, have not experienced extreme loss. Elders have like a snowball rolling down a hill.

Loss engenders grief like night follows day. The truth about grief is not its individualism. It is not that your grief schedule differs from another's. It is that it relies on your own personal familiarity with it. The more familiar you become with grief, the better you handle it. It's a little like juggling flaming objects. Your hands get burned, but as you get better at it, the scars protect you from the burns while you become more adept at juggling. So if you are older, yes, you're still burnt (but you still can take the turkey out of the oven). If you are younger, you need someone to wrap your hands in aloe-coated gauze. That is how it is.

So here we are. You are young and passionate and did the groundwork (which we older folks so appreciate), and your poor, sweet hearts are shattered into more pieces than that glass ceiling might have been. We could tell you that there will be more losses. That is true. It doesn't help. You will get used to it, but that doesn't help right now, either.

Everyone experiences grief, so this is just an observation. The people whose “grief schedules” improve in life are the ones who put that grief together and use it as a weapon against everything that their loss represents.

Those who have lost loved ones to cancer, Alzheimer's, ALS, drunk driving, HIV-AIDS, domestic violence, etc. have crafted movements around their loses. This is a positive and useful way to deal with loss. It is admirable, heroic, and productive.

If you are young, you are going to face many more losses in your life. If you are older, you have experienced your share – well not quite all of your share, but you know what I am saying.
Grief is a dark, muddy place. It's hard to see clearly. One thing we know is that using grief as a weapon somehow helps us master it.

We lost. We did not lose the popular vote. We lost the electoral vote, and that is hard. It hurts a lot. The harder we worked the more it hurts.

Let's use our grief to make a difference. Here is a list of ways to stay involved and places to find hearts as shattered as your own. Fair warning. Your heart will not get better, but it will get stronger.

Signing a petition might make you feel better for the moment, but, trust me, the Electoral College is not going to reverse anything. Here are some things you can latch onto and make the changes we need.

We are stronger together. That is true.
Organizations to Support
Ways to Stay Engaged
Literature to Share