Los Angeles, California (PressExposure) April 14, 2008 -- Loss is a fact of life. Yet, following loss, their needs to be a healthy healing, a healing that allows life not only to simply continue, but with joy and determination. What are the elements that make up healing? Whether suffering from a divorce, loss of a child, loss of a parent, or loss of a spouse, "certain stages and reactions are all part of the healing process. Not only is it different for each person, it is different with each loss. Based on the nature of the relationship, i.e., the history with that person, the strengths, the troubled aspects, the bereaved ego strengths, the intensity of the love, and the unfinished fragments of the relationship, all must be taken into consideration," according to Gloria Lintermans & Marilyn Stolzman, Ph.D., L.M.F.T., co-authors of "The Healing Power of Grief: The Journey Through Loss to Life and Laughter (Sourcebooks, Inc., ISBN 1-932783-48-2).
There are many feelings in common that people go through in the stages of grief, as well as an often overlap of these stages. The stages include shock, denial, anger, depression, and transition, integration and adjustment. There is a great deal of emotion during loss, as the bereaved move from one stage to another and then back again. A few steps forward and a few steps back - this back-and-forth movement is perfectly normal.
While moving through the stages of grief, Dr. Stolzman cautions that: "Healing takes time and requires patience; Healing is slow; Healing means moving back and forth in progress; Healing means being emotionally available to yourself; Healing means being kind and less judgmental to yourself; Healing means allowing whatever feelings to surface, knowing that they are subject to change; Healing means that some days are easier than others; Healing means allowing feelings to be present; and, Healing means its okay to cry and express doubt.
"Healing means the ability to take in the positive while acknowledging the negative; Healing means allowing others to come in and offer support; Healing employs self-acceptance and allowing yourself to be in the moment; Healing is about creating balance in your life; Healing is about enjoying nature and spending enough time to slow down, breathe the air and see the trees; Healing is about exercise and adequate nutrition; Healing is about using positive affirmations about yourself and your world; Healing is about feeling safe within yourself; and, Healing is about listening to your inner voice."
"Lastly, when bereavement is a shared experience with others who are going through the same thing," says Lintermans, "it fosters personal and others' healing. It is important to recognize that the wounded healer, in healing the wounds of others, is healing their own wound. This back and forth process of listening and being emotionally available to oneself and others is useful in moving forward. The humanness of a shared experience is healing; a recognition that one is not alone and isolated, offering a sense of security."
Los Angeles-based Gloria Lintermans & Marilyn Stolzman, Ph.D., L.M.F.T. are co-authors of The Helaing Power of Grief: The Journey Through Loss to Life and Laughter (Sourcebooks, Inc., ISBN 1-932783-48-2)and The Healing Power of Love: Transcending the Loss of a Spouse to New Love (Sourcebooks, Inc., ISBN 1-932783-51-). Dr. Stolzman is a bereavement counselor and director of H.O.P.E Unit Foundation for Bereavement, Loss and Transition. Lintermans is a former syndicated newspaper columnist, currently a freelance writer and author.