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Life Coach - Us Life Coaching, LLC
Linda Ocejo, MA, CPRP, CLC
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Grief is a part of the human experience which we all go through during our lifetimes. However, we all handle grief differently, and there is not one "best way, or healthy way" to handle our grief. Most of the time, we think of grief as a reaction to the death of a loved one. There really is no general handbook on the "proper/healthy" way to handle our grief. I personally believe that we have to figure out what is the best way for us, as individuals, to handle the specific grief that we are experiencing.

Very often you may hear someone say that a healthy grieving period for the loss of a loved one takes about one year's time. And, if someone is grieving for longer than a year, then something must be wrong. It is generally thought that they are not handling things correctly; and they definitely need help because it is not normal to grieve for over a year. Each time I hear this, I am puzzled by the simplicity that some of us in our society have put on the process of grieving. Nonetheless, it does appear as though there are various stages of the grieving process, which many of us are aware of, and most of us, it seems, have gone through the various stages numerous times during our lives.

Throughout the years, as we all have, I have personally experienced grief of varying intensities. I've lost many people who were so close and dear to my heart, I could not even imagine living a life without them. During those periods, it felt as if the grief would never end. In fact, from my personal experience, I believe that grief doesn't end, it just changes, and the way that we handle/deal with our grief changes.

I personally believe that an extremely important factor in how we eventually "positively" come to a place of peace with our grief, depends upon our relationship with the person who has passed on during their lifetime. If we had a very loving and open relationship with the individual, I believe that we may be able to find peace sooner.... Our memories will become extremely important for us, and they eventually will help ease the pain caused by our grieving.

I have found it very advantageous, when grieving because of the loss of a loved one, to actually make a photograph book, or a collage of photos/memorabilia of the loved one and your life together. I personally believe that the process of doing so is very therapeutic, and it reinforces the wonderful life that you and your loved one had with one-another.

I also believe that the process of creating a photograph book or a collage of photos/memorabilia is also extremely advantageous when losing a job, going through a divorce, or moving away from the home which you and your family shared for many years. This process, I believe, allows us to show honor and respect for the person/situation that is no longer an active part of our life, and put it in the proper perspective; and move on with loving and treasured memories. We can always pick up the photograph book or collage and have loving memories of a person, place, or time in our lives. Then, we can peacefully put the photograph book/collage down, and continue to live our lives in a very positive manner. I truly recommend, that once we have accepted losing a loved one through death, or have come to accept any other type of significant loss in our life, that creating a photograph book/collage is , in my opinion, very therapeutic and advantageous to the overall grieving process.

The human experience causes many of us much pain and suffering throughout our lifetimes. However, it also brings us unbelievable joy and happiness. Just think of all of the wonderful people who have touched your life so far in this beautiful adventure called life. Just think of all of the happy moments filled with laughter, joy, and special moments with those that you love so dearly. Just think of the smiles that you personally have put on the faces of others, through a kind word, gesture, thought, or act of kindness. Processing our grief, without putting time restraints on the process in general, allows us to move on with this wonderful experience called life, and carry with us all of the people/memories that we treasure the most.

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