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Grief Relief: Feeling the loss of security

As bullets continue to rain down on our community, I listen to those who are grieving and note that their level of fear has increased tenfold.  For many, after losing a loved one, fear tends to settle in and create a sense of insecurity, a deep rooted apprehension that now there is no one there to protect them in the event that something terrible happens.  And that “terrible” can be anything from a blown tire on the side of the road, to a threatening storm or even a lightbulb that no longer shines brightly outside of their front door. 

Death can shake our sense of security in ways that no one has thought to explain to us, and it is something that is difficult to prepare for because we never know just how insecure or afraid we are feeling until the moment happens.  But, when it does, it can leave us feeling more than afraid and then hesitant to “re-engage” with life for fear that something “might happen.”  Fear is paralyzing and it definitely plays a huge role in grieving, whether it is being afraid to go out to eat alone or driving at night, it tends to knock us down when we least expect it, rearing its ugly head time and time again leaving us feeling dependent or helpless.

The thing about security or the loss of feeling “safe” is that it affects us all.  Violence is becoming more commonplace and many are voicing that they are no longer comfortable venturing outside of their homes.  It is an ugly seed of negativity that festers within us allowing fear to grow and harvest unpleasant thoughts and ideas that leave us feeling shaken and afraid.  Just worrying about the idea that something bad can occur might prevent many from following their hearts and desires or can even create setbacks from progress made, leaving many to stay locked up safe and sound behind closed doors. 

Once again, when security is threatened, it can disrupt our sense of safety in ways that can become debilitating.  When grieving, it intensifies because just having the presence of our loved one can become the buffer needed to provide that refuge, that sanctuary from the things that threaten us or make us feel afraid.  The question we should start asking is how do we face these fears and take back our sense of feeling safe?

Just like grief, it is different for everyone.  Fears generate reactions that can be difficult to overcome and yet we must do just that in order to establish some semblance of living.  Take for example the reference to bullets mentioned in the beginning of this column.  Are we going to let bad things or horrific events prevent us from engaging with others or from walking our streets with our friends and family?  Are we going to stay behind locked doors and let those fears fester or are we going to attempt to face them head on and regain our sense of security?

There are times when I feel afraid.  I admit that I struggle with senseless violence and loss, but I have to emphatically state that I am refusing to allow those things to take away my sense of security.  As a community, we must bond together, reach out to those who are struggling or hurting and address those fears together.  Feeling validation is powerful and knowing that others struggle with similar fears can be just the thing needed to bring back or restore our sense of security.  Let us find refuge together.