Grief can be a positive emotion

Grief is a multidimensional emotion. There is more than one type of grief.

I believe that positive grief lets us release the negative emotions, especially those that are locked away festering, keeping us bound in pain, stuck, unable to move in any direction.

The emotion that let us release this kind of pain is healthy. We need this kind of emotion so that we will be able to move forward in our lives.

If any of us has not experienced this emotion, the only thing I can say is that if we live long enough we will.

Grief has touched me so deeply that it felt like a fiery dagger plunged in my heart. When I am with family and friends who have experienced the same thing, my heart breaks for them also.

It is also a strange comfort to be in the company of those who know exactly how I feel.

We all grieve in our own way. Some people grieve so hard it stops them from functioning; others feel the only way they can accomplish even the small everyday tasks is by keeping those feelings contained.

And there are those that throw themselves into the business of taking care of everyone else.

We are looked upon as strong people that can make all the difficult choices that the others could not or did not want to deal with. In some cases the person that winds up taking care of business ends up being take advantage of.

Grief that is born of murder, a deliberate decision to take a life, is in a category of its own.

Many times, as with my child, the death was horrific . Sometimes the way the death happened overshadows the death itself.

Illness and accidents are painful and the sorrow can be explained; but murder feels like someone has beaten us down with a stick. When the person who commits the offense is a person who is trusted and loved, the pain is magnified a hundred times and the grief goes to another level.

Trying to manage grief on our own adds to the severity and length of our suffering, We need to feel the love, support and compassion of family, friends and others around us. I believe that we are all connected and we never know who will become the life-line that will begin to stabilize us.

I try to keep my heart open so that I can expend love and receive love in return. Love is such a powerful emotion and if we allow it, will cut down on the severity and length of our pain.

No one or nothing can completely take away all of the pain. It will not go away instantly.

So many of us feel like we are trapped with our back against a brick wall with no way to get out. But love is so powerful that if we give it a chance, it will decrease the affects of negative grief. Sometimes love shows up in the most unlikely of places; if we cautiously open our hearts I believe as love flows in, grief flows out.

Brenda James lives in Durham.

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