What I See in Survivors of Grief and Loss

Survivors of grief and loss are a unique type of people who in many cases silently walk among us.  You cannot tell by looking at them, what they are thinking or feeling.  Chances are you may think they are doing great, but how do they “do it”?

Words such as; courage, inner strength, faith, hope, vision, pride and fortitude come to mind.  Unless you have been there and worn the hat, you do not truly know what happens to a person in grief and how they manage to survive.

When I look at these survivors, the differences with healing time, personalities, coping abilities and the additional stresses of past losses or current responsibilities come to mind.

Survivors have a need and a want to NOT “feel” like this anymore.  Often, survivors actively do what it takes to get better and keep seeking supportive resources that suit their unique situation, but all of them do this.

Sometimes the seeking is a journey in and of itself with twists and turns along the way; similar to driving down a road and encountering different directional signs.  STOP, SLOW DOWN, YIELD, CURVE AHEAD, ROAD CLOSED or PROCEED WITH CAUTION may mimic the grief journey.

Decreased tolerance for the mundane events of other people’s lives may be noticed when survivors choose to change the topic of discussion or not participate in life’s dramas.  Their world view and life has changed.  Over the years, several individuals have state “I have no time for stupid” and they mean what they are saying.

Sometimes, the spiritual connection with the deceased is increased, but the survivor may not mention this to anyone or perhaps only to a select few.  Feeling a light touch, hearing their name called, and much more may be happening as per the stories I have heard.  Understanding the meaning of these happenings may be disturbing or offer an increased sense of hope.

A deeper sense and value of “LIFE” may be shown through their actions or words.  The survivor is forever changed and this reality is new to them too.  Imagine, making a new life, starting over; what would this look like to you?

YOU may be the survivor and if so, I honour your courage

to do whatever you did to survive.

You are a testament to others who may need your truth to be a

survivor too.

All my best,

Barbara Gillett Saunders

Grief Counsellor/Thanatologist