It’s 2 AM, and you are asleep. The phone rings, and you awake feeling a little startled. The first ring gets your attention and then comes the second. This ring is different from the first because you are annoyed and saying to yourself, “This is such a bother.” You are gathering your thoughts quickly and coming out of your restful sleep. The ring is one of trouble, and you wonder if this is a prank call or one from a fumbling caller unaware that they are dialing the wrong number. You consider whether or not you should even reach over and answer the phone since it is most likely a worthless effort.
By the time the third ring comes, your conscious mind is evaluating the situation. Is the call important? Lying in bed, you are hoping the caller will hang up realizing their mistake, but this does not happen. You have to make a decision quickly. The caller appears persistent, and you are finally convinced that you should risk answering the phone. Your thoughts are divided about this interruption in your sleep. After all, you have to get up in a few hours to go to work, and you do not want to waste your time.
Unknown to you at this time is that the grief process has begun, and you are entering a new chapter in your life. Part of your life path, it will teach you lessons that will challenge you in ways you never have experienced. The challenges you will face are not by choice, and there is no perceived advantage to go through the process you are beginning. Grief does not discriminate between individuals or show any kind of mercy to those it affects.
When you start the grief process, there is no time table for you to follow, there is no “signup sheet”, and you cannot force the process. Events around you will need clear thinking while you are suffering from emotional distress. Grief stretches you in ways you did not think were possible. Finding logical parallels for this time is difficult, but there are some real world examples that can give you clues about ways you can approach your circumstances. You will go back and forth in the stages of grief and be often bewildered.
The topic of grief is not one that we talk about until we experience it. Dwelling on negative situations is not something we want to do, but we find that when dealing with grief, we often draw upon other disappointments that give us clues about how to handle the latest situation. Disappointment is something that is necessary, whether or not we want to admit it. Learning to overcome obstacles broadens our character and teaches us that there can be resolution after a difficult time.
We often try to shelter others from having disappointment and failure in life, but these are aspects of the human experience. It can be argued that those who are sheltered from hardships in life do not appreciate the good things the Universe has to offer. Many people have a sense of entitlement, and when they are faced with a problem, they are unable to deal with the situation. The inability to figure out solutions can be devastating and has the potential of creating more grief for others if not recognized.
Grief may, in fact, offer opportunities for us if we can become aware of them. An enlightened individual may comprehend that the Universe has a natural course to it and does not discriminate when it allows difficulties to occur. It is the way we handle issues in life that determines whether we enjoy the fullness of the wonder of the Universe or are condemned to be victims of it. We can make matters better or worse depending upon our perspective and actions. Grief often makes a person “enlightened” after they have experienced loss.
Enlightenment can be another term for maturity, and it often comes from unexpected places and people. A child or someone who is perceived as innocent or lacking insight may suddenly offer a unique perspective or solution to an issue. The Universe often creates new sources of wisdom and knowledge around us. It can create new “leaders” in a family when a crisis is faced. If this does not happen, the family or group can disintegrate. More tragedy may result if an individual is alone and unable to gain a new perspective of reality unless they are able to take time to reflect. When they finally reach a cathartic moment, they will understand the concept of karma and that it plays a role in the lessons that we need to learn in this lifetime.
When we are experiencing grief, we often seek help from outside our immediate group. Advice from spiritual groups or professional counselors can be essential to the healing process, and there is no shame in asking for help. It is a proactive measure that allows us to “lean” on those not affected by our loss. We are social beings, and we need each other, for it is natural and normal to be with others who can give us healthy resources when needed.