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Mourning is "Grief gone public". Taking our internal experience of grief and expressing it outside of ourselves. This is a very important task for us so that we don't end up using pain avoidance behaviors such as substance abuse, eating disorders, self injurious behavior, risk taking behaviors, isolating, fighting and other unhealthy behaviors that attempt to relieve the often overwhelming feelings that come with grief.
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Mourning is how we heal through the grief. Don't postpone, deny, cover up or run from your pain. Allow it and be with it now. Everything else can wait. Imagine that you have a physical wound. You would give that your immediate attention. The same needs to be done for our emotional wounds. Set time to mourn.
The sooner you allow yourself to be with your pain, the sooner it will pass. The only way out is through it. Whenever people interfere with mourning, they interfere with the body's natural recovery. Grief will return again, if not dealt with now, months or even years later, when you least expect it. It may be painful but you can survive the pain. ( adapted from How to Survive the Loss of a Love byColgrove, Bloomfield and McWilliams.(1991)
Earlier losses may surface. Often our old unresolved or unacknowledged losses from the past: previous relationships, rejections, disappointments, hurts and childhood. Current losses often reactivate old losses. You may find that you are "unreasonably reacting" to a current loss and sometimes it is due to it bringing up the old. Give yourself permission to heal. Be gentle with yourself. Be kind, forgiving and patient. Treat yourself with the same care that you would treat a good friend who is in a similiar situation.
Children, teens and adults mourn through religious and cultural rituals.
Many mourn through the use of:
art, clay, journal writing,
writing letters, writing poetry, writing music,
playing instruments, exercise, making memory books,
memory boxes, making scrap books, talk to them,
dreaming of the person, create a race in their name or scholarship at a school,
carry around a token of the loved ones (jewelry or baseball cap, or photo), drama, photography, cook their loved ones favorite foods, join support groups,
become active in a cause.....etc....
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