While grieving is emotional and mourning is expressive, recovery is the physical effort of taking control of one’s life after loss. After grieving and mourning there will come a point when more time will be spent moving forward and less time looking back.
Recovery means to get back again, regain or retrieve. Just as an athlete must recover from an injury to regain his strength and repair his wound, so too, people who grieve must spend the time and effort to recapture their life after loss. As an athlete will never be the same after injury, people after loss, will recover but their life will change as well. Nonetheless, there comes a time when the injury for the athlete has healed and it is time to return to the game, just as the grieving must return to life.
Similar to grieving, recovery has no specific timetable. It takes time to recover from the emotional, spiritual, physical and financial affects of loss. Recovery is complete when the destination has been reached, when the joy of living is restored.
The first step in recovery is the most important step: making sure the right road has been taken. Just as one should never consider driving across country without a road map, one should not consider attempting recovery with out directions. And as other roads in life, the road of recovery is usually the one less traveled. If the pain is being drowned out by any source of dependence on food, alcohol or drugs, this is not the road to recovery. It is the road to addiction. If living in anger or denial, this is not the road to recovery but the road of bitterness.
Although recovery is desirable, it is one of the most difficult decisions to make. Recovery means making the conscious choice to move forward and make plans for a life that no longer includes the lost loved one. However, the road to recovery requires that that decision must be made. As difficult as it is to begin recovery, there are blessings to be found and lessons to be learned.
The list below is merely a guideline and complete details are included in Emerald’s Garden How to grieve, mourn, and recover from loss.
Marsha Johnson is a writer, speaker and the author of Emerald’s Garden – How to grieve, mourn and recover from loss. See http://www.marshajohnson.net to sign up for your free Grief Recovery e-newsletter.