How to mourn the right way

While it's true that mourning is very individual, what is even more true is that there is a right and a wrong way to mourn. Knowing the difference will save you a life filled with pain.

Elizabeth Kubler Ross articulated eloquently what happens when we mourn: we enter five stages, anger, denial, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Not necessarily in that order either. Each person will experience these stages differently. But, eventually, we all experience them. And to heal we must journey through all of these stages. It is the way out!  This journey does not mean you fast forward or speed your way out of the feelings. You wear them like a leather jacket, you feel 'em and break em in. You acknowledge them. And most importantly, you don't judge yourself for what you are feeling. That is the correct way to mourn a loss: to allow yourself to feel the emotions and journey inside of these feelings not around them.

Then there's the wrong way to mourn. This happens when you linger in one of the stages forever. Hello being stuck! And what happens is that you become defined by the loss - a broken heart, death, loss of limbs, and more. To be stuck in that loss is like leaving your soul in the past.

To carry on with life fully, we have to find the courage to look at pain in the face and tell it that it can batter and bruise but it will not cripple you in a way that you cannot find joy and health again. A loss should not define who you are. A loss serves to enhance your heart.

To all those who are mourning, may your journey be safe. Know that you will come out on the other side. And this is the thing: to find peace in your heart you have to go get it. It will not come to you.