Probably one of the hardest things we’ll all go through in life is Learning to Understand And Surviving Grief. There is such huge emotion with losing a loved one,
whether it is a spouse, sibling, grandparents, your child or even a friend. Our sadness is the testament to the love and relationships we carry in our hearts
and the tremendous pain we deal with after their passing. Grief you will find comes in waves, during your loved ones initial passing; you’re literally drowning.
Weeks turn into months and we’re simply floating through life. We hold memories close to our heart. Memories become reality; as that is all we have left.
Memories pop up all day long; a song on the radio, a picture of your loved one, basically anything you shared with this person will bring you to breaking
because your heart is so heavy. This is understood and is a natural part of healing. There is no time frame to heal, your heart may never be whole as it
was once before, we must continue on in our lives; because surviving grief isn’t optional.
You will experience a multitude of emotions, this is expected; Stages of Grief
Denial is a normal reaction to our many overwhelming emotions. Basically denial is a defense mechanism, which we use as a “buffer” with the immediate shock of losing a loved one.
Again, this defiantly is a natural emotion when deal with loss. Basically denial is a numbing effect, which eventually wears off; when the pain of losing a loved one finally sets in. At this stage of grief, we start placing blame, guilt and we might even lash out.
Bargaining is the “What if…” stage of grief. This stage is actually rather important as it does however provide a temporary escape from your immense pain; it provides hope and gives us time to adjust to the reality of the situation.
Again, this is natural and expected; however it’s not a sign of mental illness, but an appropriate response to your loss. During this time is normal to feel completely empty and immense sadness, loss of sleep and appetite. You’ll also find you might not be as motivated as you once were for common daily tasks.
This final stage is coming to terms with your loss and accepting the reality of your loss and the fact that there is nothing you can do to change it. This by any means does not mean that you are “okay” with the loss of your loved one.
During this difficult time, it is normal to have conflicting feelings this is natural and expected. All these emotions can be stressful. If we continue to deny our feelings and fail to work through the 5 stages of grief, it is harder on our body and mind than going through them. I understand this is an unbearable time; grief is actually a healing process.
There are several ways we suggest you to help cope with your loss until you have accepted the loss of your loved one.
- Face your grief
Embrace and allow yourself to go through the heal process. This is so necessary. If we ignore our loss and are never accepting of it, we will never heal. This is so necessary for your mental and physical health.
- Grief therapist or counselor
This is okay! There is nothing wrong at all with seeking extra help through a therapist or counselor; in fact I highly suggest it. I say this because it is so important that we work through our feelings and bring them to the surface and are accepting of them.
- Journal/ Scrapbooking and Photo Albums
I highly recommend this method at any time during your recovery, and even after. Journaling is a wonderful practice to put into your daily routine. It is a place where we can express our feelings; it relieves stress and allows you to be creative. Another great idea is scrap booking and creating photo album keepsakes of your loved one; this is also a wonderful activity to do with children.
- Group Support
Seek addition support for yourself through Grief Support Groups. A great place to start here is through your local church. It is great help to share your story with others that are going to the loss of a loved one too. It is also important to stay close with family and friend during this hard time. Do not isolate yourself; you need all the love and support you can get. Allow others to help you!
Give yourself the space you need, but also remember that we must take care of ourselves in order for us to heal from the inside out. Try your hardest to get to your normal routine, allow yourself a break to help take your mind off the pain. Allow yourself to feel your emotions and work through them. Be patient with yourself as you work through the stages, and know that it will get better.
You will go through many ups and downs throughout this process, remembering your loved one is one way to help you cope. Grief never truly ends, it gets softer over time and then it will be hard again. This is all normal. Grief lasts as long as love does and that is forever; a constant dance of sorrow and pain.