Learning to swim….and surf….

learn to swim

Or surf…

Grief does come in waves.  Often they are powerful and overwhelming and you can see them coming.  Sometimes they come out of nowhere and surprise you or knock you to your knees where you stand.  There is no running away or ignoring or wishing them away.  They come.  Over and over and over again until you feel like you don’t have the energy to take another breath.  It feels a lot like drowning on your tears and your emotion.

You become an expert at riding these waves.  Just as real ocean surfing requires incredible balance and muscle strength, riding the waves of grief requires incredible balance and emotional muscle strength.  It is important to try to find some balance between the constant assault of grief and built in breaks from the grief.  Some people find this break in work or movies or games or activities or exercise.  It’s important to find what works for you even for just a few minutes a day.  It is equally important to build those emotional muscles.  You do that by allowing the waves to reach you…by leaning into them and experiencing them fully.  Allow whatever emotions you are experiencing at any given moment to fully wash over you.  This is not easy.  Our natural tendency is to avoid pain of any kind.  The more you lean into the pain though, the stronger your emotional muscles become.  The benefit is that you learn that you can cope with them.  You learn they are not permanent.  You learn that they pass.  Just as muscle memory assists any athlete with automatic motion and reaction, emotional muscles will do the same thing.  You recognize the signs of impending intensity.  You learn what works for you to cope with them.  You learn to take the time to feel the feelings knowing it will pass and you can return to some level of equilibrium and balance…until the next wave…

As always, if you’d like to chat about your grief journey, call or email me.


Copyright 2015  Lisa B. Wolfe, LMSW, Translating Grief, LLC

This entry was posted in Bereavement counseling, Coping with Grief, Grief, Quotes and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Learning to swim….and surf….

  1. I must be a talented surfer and didn’t even know it! 😉 Great post!

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