Grief is something everyone experiences in life. Some people are fortunate enough not to feel the sting of loss until they are well into their adult lives; others learn to deal with grief from a young age.
The important thing to remember with grief is that everyone has a different experience, and that’s ok. Grief is not something that can be measured or has a fixed timeline.
We are all aware of the classical stages of grief, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. But these stages are not the definition of grief, and you certainly don’t have to go through each of them to grieve ‘properly,’ because there is no proper way to grieve.
There are ways, however, to help us to cope with grief a little easier so that we can mind ourselves during the turbulent process.
We experience grief as a result of many things, often loss. This loss doesn’t need to be the loss of a person; grief can be triggered by the loss of a job, a home, a pet, or even a friendship. Each of these reasons is a valid event to grieve. While grieving can feel overwhelming, like a fast descent that seems to go on forever. You may, at times as if you will never experience anything other than this grief. But like most things, it will pass. As already mentioned, there are also ways to take care of yourself during your grief.
Choose your grieving process. Ignore the cliches that we all know where grief is concerned. Some find comfort in visiting graves; others prefer prayer, some like directly talking aloud to the person they are grieving. Whatever feels right within yourself is what you should be doing, not what someone else suggests or does.
Understand your grief. Often people will ignore their grief, pretend they are feeling better than they are. This mindset is not healthy. Even though it is unpleasant and stressful, exploring the emotional pain and recognizing it is healthy. While disbelief is normal; it is essential not to close the door on those feelings, it won’t make the process any faster or easier. If anything, this will prevent you from coming to terms with your loss and beginning to move past it.
Allow others to support you. It is easy to fall into the trap of isolating yourself when you go through a difficult time. There are so many people who have experienced a version of what you are feeling right now. Take comfort from them and their words. Draw peace from your faith, be it religion or your personal beliefs. Support groups provide a brilliant open and confidential setting where you can explore your grief and receive advice from others experiencing the same.
Or talk to a therapist. I am here for all types of emotional unrest or challenging times that you may be facing. Grief is a natural part of life but can be daunting to face, especially for the first time. If you are having trouble navigating your grief in a responsible and healthy way, please contact me. Together we can work through your feelings and begin moving towards a place of acceptance and peace for you and your loved ones.