I originally created the acronym NEAR for an article in SELF magazine, to help readers remember the common experiences of grieving. The many unfamiliar emotions are painful and often visit us when we least expect it. The letters stand for:
Numb - initially we are shocked and numb to the feelings that come later.
Emotions - after the numbness, many emotions: anger, despair, confusion.
Acceptance - when we accept the permanence of our loss & move forward.
Reconstructed - rebuild our lives, integrating positive meanings into the loss.
Our loved ones are always NEAR and can help us find new meanings as we rebuild our lives in their absence. Grieving their loss is a lifelong process that matures and evolves as we grow.