Meg F. Schneider, MA, LCSW-R

Healing Does Not Begin Right After a Tragedy. First Comes Grief.

I’m so very tired of listening to newscasters say “now the healing can begin” after families pass through the first few days of realizing they have suddenly lost a loved one. It is NOT time to heal. It’s time to be in shock. And after shock, it’s time to grieve. And then hopefully, it’s time to heal. This entire process of living with a traumatic loss can take years.


To indicate otherwise, could leave many grief stricken people feeling as if there is something wrong with them. Why can’t they just move ahead? Why are they experiencing periods of such deep depression they can hardly move? Why are they feeling traumatized by images in their minds? Why don’t they WANT to leave the pain behind? The answer is because these incapacitating experiences are all part of the normal work it takes to move through traumatic grief. It’s important that sufferers understand though life seems all wrong, their reactions are all “right.” It’s okay. They CAN move through it. Others have. They will too. It’s important to let them know that seeking therapeutic help may be necessary to handle the pain. And this too is normal. Even advisable.


If you are someone who has suffered an unfathomable loss, allow yourself to weather the shock.  This means almost having an out of body experience. It can feel like a numbness. And then embrace the grieving. The indescribable sadness. If it feels as if it’s going on and on with no change, you might want to seek help. This is not because there is something wrong with you. It’s because sometimes we need to unburden ourselves of thoughts and feelings that we cannot access on our own. Even though we are crying it doesn’t mean we have faced the entirety of our pain. A good therapist can help you release your most difficult thoughts and feelings and in doing so could help you find the energy to, move through grieving and finally begin the slow but fruitful work of healing.


Finally remember that you are not alone.  Try finding a group for people who have experienced a sudden loss.   Feeling understood can be a balm for any pain.

Copyright © 2018  Meg F. Schneider, MA, LCSW-R. All rights reserved.