Out of all the stages of forgiveness, grief (in my opinion!) is the hardest.
Lots of experts, academics and thought leaders have different stages for forgiveness. Here’s the ones we use at Project Forgive:
Stage 1 Shock
Stage 2 Anger
Stage 3 Grief
Stage 4 Acceptance
Stage 5 Peace (and Gratitude)
The stages are non-linear, meaning it’s not like you can check off the box for each stage and be complete. I wish that were the case.
Nope, it’s complex and you can enter any stage at any time and go back and forth hundreds (if not thousands) of times.
Grief can look like sadness, depression, anxiety, anger, suffering, the blahs, etc.
So how do you know if you’re actually having some emotional movement while grieving?
I don’t care what the experts say, you and only you, can define, feel and move with your grief. Everyone is different.
I too have been facing, feeling and examining my own grief. And dang, it’s complicated.
The only thing I’m sure of for me, is that it is truly a process.
So wherever you may be in your process, I found this poem by Gwen Flowers, that I thought would soothe you.
I had my own notion of grief.
I thought it was the sad time
That followed the death of someone you love.
And you had to push through it
To get to the other side.
But I’m learning there is no other side.
There is no pushing through.
There is absorption.
And grief is not something you complete,
But rather, you endure.
Grief is not a task to finish
And move on,
But an element of yourself ,
An alteration of your being.
A new way of seeing.
A new definition of self .
~ Gwen Flowers ~
I love this description.
I hope this poem validated your own sacred grief experience.
Sending you much love as follow your heart.