One of the biggest losses that we will experience is the death of a loved one. Bereavement grief is difficult to cope with, and we all experience it differently. It often shows up as a physical and psychological reaction to the changes that have been forced upon us in a significant and meaningful way
Grief diminishes with time. Sometimes the pain of grief can increase in the first few months after a death, as not only the reality of what has happened is sinking in, but the support structures that were initially in place starts to fall away. Grief is a journey, and it cannot be hurried. It demands patience, emotional energy and courage. You are starting a new phase in your life and adapting to new challenges but you must also find the reserves of strength to call upon hope, courage and faith.
We experience many things when grieving; both emotional and mental. We can be experiencing them all at the same time. Shock, pain, sadness, anger, guilt, anxiety, mental disorganisation and feeling overwhelmed, relief, and loneliness. This is normal when you are grieving.
Sometimes it may seem easier to avoid grief, as nobody really wants to have to have grief in his or her life, but it is a healthy part of living. When we try to avoid grief it doesn’t go away, it just becomes more overwhelming. The harder we try the worse it becomes.
A healthy way to grieve
Is having the ability to move between the challenges of what you may need to deal with; the pain and emotion, and the practical aspect of day to day living. It may seem impossible, but when you look at yourself, what you are feeling and analyse your reactions, sometimes a path of action and reaction becomes clear.
Some Symptoms of Grief
Grief is the reaction we have to losses of significance in our lives. This can include:
- Loss of a pet
- Loss of a job or employment
- Loss of health
- Loss of a loved one
- Ending a relationship
- Loss of plans, goals or a dream
One of the biggest losses that we will experience is the death of a loved one. Bereavement grief is difficult to cope with, and we all experience it differently. It often shows up as a physical and psychological reaction to the changes that have been forced upon us in a significant and meaningful way.
Grief symptoms can include:
- Sadness, anger
- Breathlessness, physical weakness
- Confusion, crying, withdrawing from family and friends
How we experience grief, and for how long, depends upon many factors, such as how much the person meant to us, the role we played in caring for them, and how strongly we identified with their experiences.
What was our state of mind was like at the time? The state of our emotional, spiritual and physical wellness is also important. What other factors were happening in our lives at the time of their passing? It is not only a major loss in itself but it can often mean other losses as well such as:
- Loss of income or financial security
- Loss of routine, stability
- Loss of future together
- Loss of mutual friends
- Loss of opportunities
Some key ideas to help with grief:
- Take time for yourself each day
- Keep a journal – it can help
- Have a good cry it is part of the healing process
- Avoid making any major decisions for at least a year
- Take life one day at a time
- Write a letter to the one you have lost can really help
- Get help with financial matters
- Find a good listener or grief counsellor
- Take care of yourself
- Get regular exercise with gardening, walking, yoga or Tai Chi
- Relaxation Meditation
- Keep up with your hobbies, passions, and anything you love doing
- Create or continue a Grounded Spiritual Practice
I found for me when dealing with grief that the saying, ‘time heals’ is true. As time passes, you manage better.
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