Loss is an inevitable part of life so it cannot be avoided; the only way out is through.
With time and effort, we can learn to negotiate the waves of grief and learn to go with the flow.
Grief has to pass through the contours of our current life situation, so whatever other life stressors we are dealing with may intensify the rapids.
However, finding paddle partners, an experienced river guide, and sandbars (places to rest along the way) can make the journey more manageable.
At times, the only thing we can do is hang-on!
Eventually, we will pass through the really rough spots, grateful to leave those troubled waters behind.
At this point on our journey, we should be able to refocus on the scenery and the events of everyday life.
The run offers the opportunity to reflect on the experience and learn from it.
We will experience other waves or ripples of grief. If our loss was the death of a loved one, the feeling of missing him or her might never go away, but we can learn to chart a new course and continue on our journey.
Contrary to what many people think, grief is not a “process.” Instead, the experience of grief is more like a river: dynamic, often turbulent and constantly changing. Instead of using confusing clinical terminology, the Grief River® model uses images from nature to help us find a way to cope with all our losses across the lifespan. Take some time to explore this site, download a free PDF article to read or share with friends, then visit our secure Grief River Store for resources to navigate your way through those "waves of grief."
As we approach the end of our own personal journey, either because of age or illness, the pace of life eventually slows down.
We will have time to reflect on the choices we have made and review our life.
We will revisit all our accomplishments and all our disappointments.
We will revisit the current loss and develop a point of view about our own death.
Some may get stuck in the backwaters of bitterness and stagnate in a swamp of resentment, but most of us will a find a channel that will carry us on toward the sea.
A quick peek into the Grief River model
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It can be challenging to identify a single source or origin for a river, glaciers, lakes, small streams and tributaries, rain and snow all add to a river’s volume and its rate of flow.
The same can be said of grief. When we look back, many things contribute to how we experience the current loss and how well we are able to cope with those on-going waves of grief.
Our personality and temperament, our culture, spirituality, and worldview, our previous experience with loss, and our relationship with who or what we lost will impact our ability to manage grief and bereavement.
Rejoining the Sea
Just as all rivers eventually lead to the sea, we will join those who have gone before us.
No matter what your personal perspective on a continued existence or afterlife may be, Heaven or Hell, reincarnation, conversion to cosmic energy or simply nothingness...death is either the end of the journey or the beginning of a whole new adventure.
I invite you to take a little time to read through some of the free downloadable PDF articles posted on this website, and then contact me and let me know your thoughts.
Resources for negotiating
the troubled waters of life