Grief is a natural response to loss. It’s the emotional suffering you feel when something or someone you love is taken away. Your grief might be intense, overwhelming and feel like it will never go away.
Everyone grieves differently
Grieving is a personal and highly individual experience.
There is really no set timeframe for grieving. Your personality, your life experience, your faith and coping style all have an impact on how you grieve. So be mindful to be patient with yourself and allow the process to naturally unfold.
Whether it takes weeks, months or even
years in many cases.
Kübler-Ross’ 5 stages of Grief model
In 1969, psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross introduced what became known as the ‘five stages of grief’. These stages of grief were based on her studies of the feelings of patients facing terminal illness, but many people have generalized them to the trauma and emotions faced by the death of a loved one.
- Denial: “This can’t be happening to me.”
- Anger: “Why is this happening?”
- Bargaining: “Make this not happen, and in return I will…….”
- Depression: “I’m too sad to do anything.”
- Acceptance: “I’m at peace with what happened.”
Does the above sound familiar to you?
Have you felt any of those emotions?
Are some emotions more prevalent than others?
You may recognise that you might resolve your grief without going through any of these stages. And if you do go through these stages of grief, you probably won’t experience them in a neat, sequential order.
According to Kübler-Ross “…..there is not a typical response to loss, as there is no typical loss”.
Please remember that grieving is a natural part of the healing process and that it takes time. In your own time.
How to manage your Grief
Having the support of other people, is the single most important factor in managing your grief. Hopefully, these 6 practical ways can help you:
- Turn to family & friends – Even if you take pride in being strong and self-sufficient, draw your loved ones close, rather than avoiding them, and accept the assistance being offered. They love you and care about you and they might not always know what they can do to help. So tell them what you need, whether it’s a shoulder to cry on or help with funeral arrangements. Your family and friends will only be too glad to be of help to you.
- Draw comfort from your faith – If you follow a religious tradition, embrace the comfort its mourning rituals can provide. Spiritual activities that are meaningful to you, such as praying, meditating, or going to church, can offer solace.
- Join a support group – Sharing your sorrow with others who have experienced similar losses can help. To find a bereavement support group in your area, contact local hospitals, funeral homes, and counselling centres.
- Talk to a therapist or grief counsellor – If your grief feels like too much to bear, call a mental health professional with experience in grief counselling or an experienced therapist. They can help you work through intense emotions and overcome obstacles to your grieving.
- Take care of yourself – When you feel good physically, you’ll also feel better emotionally. This is easier said than done and might take alot of effort during this time. Sleeping, eating right and exercising can help you combat stress and fatigue at this difficult time.
- Face your feelings – You can try and suppress and escape from your grief but you can’t avoid it forever. In order to heal, you have to acknowledge the pain. If it helps, write about your loss in a journal or write a letter saying the things you never got to say to your loved one. Let yourself feel whatever you are feeling without embarrassment or judgement. Be angry, yell at the heavens, cry or not cry. And then, let go when you are ready.