Going through any major loss in life will challenge your beliefs. While you may have thought one thing about your future, your body, or your ability, all of that will be tested when the bottom falls out on your dreams. For me, this happened when I had to come to terms with my miscarriage.
The grief that set in after it happened was unlike any I had experienced before. After wrapping my mind around the fact that I would never fulfill any of the visions I had in my head for my baby I slipped in to a pretty dark place with some heavy, dark feelings.
Those dark feelings felt so very oppressive and rightfully so. When we are grieving, depression is a way for bodies to respond so that we can adapt to something we feel in the moment we cannot handle. We shut down our nervous system to protect ourselves.
Depression is a normal and even helpful response to grief. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross and David Kessler explain it well in the book On Grief and Grieving. They say, “As difficult as it is to endure, depression has elements that can be helpful in grief. It slows us down and allows is to take real stock of the loss. It makes us rebuild ourselves from the ground up. It clears the deck for growth. It takes it to a deeper place in our soul that we could not normally explore.”
If you haven’t accessed it before, grief will open doors of your soul that you never knew were closed. It will offer you a platform to reveal who you really are and what you really think. Although depression exists as part of the process of healing, it is not the end of it. When it feels like you are living in an immense shadow, know that there is more to it. You see, the thing about the shadow of grief is that it disappears as soon as you turn to face it. Just like a shadow from the sun seems all encompassing, as soon as you turn towards the light it disappears from your vision.
Don’t be scared of feeling sad or depressed during your grieving process. It is your process. It is your pain to work through. Don’t let anyone tell you how to grieve or that you are doing it wrong or that you should be over it already.
Slow down and take stock of what you are thinking and feeling. Be gentle with yourself as you move through it. When you are ready you will lift your chin up to the light and see what this experience has to teach you.