Grief & Healing
Grief is a normal response to loss. It can be painful, time consuming and exhausting and people react to it in different ways. Shock, anger, disbelief, guilt, regret, numbness and loneliness are some emotions that most people feel.
Unfortunately, there is no magic wand to take away the pain. Grief is something you have to work through. There is no set time to say when you will feel better. Sometimes you might find that you take two steps forwards and then three steps backwards.
Many people try to hide their feelings, but they are an inevitable part of bereavement, so do not be afraid of crying or showing emotion. Tears relieve emotional stress and there is nothing to be ashamed of.
Many people have times when they feel angry. It can often help to share your feelings with a sympathetic listener, indeed much healing can come from talking.
Many people choose to withdraw from social contact, feeling unable to face the outside world. You may feel like this, but grieving is difficult enough without having to do it all on your own. Allow yourself time to grieve and adjust to your new situation. Always take time before making any major decisions such as moving house.
Grief and mourning are there for a reason; they are the beginning of the healing road we all need to travel. We are not meant to live with perpetual grief; it will serve its purpose and then move gently on, leaving you with the things that matter, the thoughts and memories of the one you love.
“When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure.”
Moving on with life
Grieving individuals may find it useful to use some of the following strategies to help come to terms with loss:
- Talk about the death of your loved one with friends and colleagues in order to understand what happened and remember your friend or family member. Denying the death is an easy way to isolate yourself, and will frustrate your support system in the process.
- Accept your feelings. People experience all kinds of emotions after the death of someone close. Sadness, anger, frustration and even exhaustion are all normal.
- Take care of yourself and your family. Eating well, exercising and getting plenty of rest help us get through each day and move forward.
- Reach out and help others dealing with the loss. Helping others has the added benefit of making you feel better as well. Sharing stories of the deceased can help everyone cope.
- Remember and celebrate the lives of your loved ones. Possibilities include donating to a favorite charity of the deceased, framing photos of fun times, passing on a family name to a baby or planting a garden in memory. What you choose is up to you, as long as it allows you honor that unique relationship in a way that feels right to you. If you feel stuck or overwhelmed by your emotions, it may be helpful to talk with a licensed psychologist or other mental health professional who can help you cope with your feelings and find ways to get back on track.
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