Lead Me Home: An African American's Guide Through the Grief Journey

Sorrow Like A Sea
Absorbing the Shock of Loss

After the death of a loved one, we find ourselves in a place we do not know. Things are familiar, but deeply, irrevocably changed. Our families, friends, neighbors and coworkers seem to be speaking a language we no longer understand. The whole world is off-kilter. We have no balance. We feel dizzy, dazed, numb and nauseous. We are set adrift in a sea of sorrow, no longer anchored by our loved one's presence.

This is the beginning of the grief journey. At first, we stagger along in shock: Where are we? How can this be happening? Then slowly, painfully we move into denial, guilt, anger, fear, anxiety and a host of other emotions. We don't experience these feelings in a neat pattern; they roar in and out like waves.

Everyone's journey is different. For some, grieving might be a swift and melancholy trip through sweet memories. Others may travel rough waters for years. We do survive our losses, but we never, ever get over
losing someone we love. Their loss is with us every day. The wound heals, but leaves a scar. A good friend of my mother's told me this and, because I knew instinctively that it was true, I trusted her advice and was able to hang on.

So trust me when I tell you that although you won't forget about your loss, and you won't "get over it," you will get through it. Hold that assurance in your heart as you embark on the first leg of your journey.