Grief is the emotional response to any type of loss. Perhaps of a loved one due to death or divorce, but also the loss of a job, a pet, financial stability, or safety after trauma. Feelings of grief can be overwhelming, and it can be hard to know how to manage and overcome these emotions. It is important to have patience with yourself and others during this process as it is a healthy part of healing. If you are having trouble coping on your own, or know of someone who could use extra support, a therapist can assist.
There is no orderly process of passing through stages of anger, denial and acceptance. Everyone experiences loss differently based on their personality, culture, and beliefs, among many other factors.
Common symptoms of grief include:
- Shock and disbelief: feeling numb about the event, having trouble believing it happened, denying it, or expecting to suddenly see the person you lost.
- Sadness: crying, or having feelings of emptiness, despair, yearning, or loneliness.
- Guilt: regret over things unsaid or undone, feeling responsible for the death or the event, or shame from feeling relieved by a person’s passing.
- Anger: blaming someone for injustice.
- Fear: feelings of anxiety, helplessness, and insecurity, or having panic attacks.
- Physical symptoms: fatigue, nausea, weight loss or gain, aches and pains, and insomnia.
Coping with Grief and Loss
An important part of healing is knowing that you are not alone. Seek support from your friends, family, or faith, or join a bereavement support group. Sharing your loss can make the grieving process easier. Remember to take care of yourself; to eat, sleep, and exercise even when you’re too stressed or fatigued to do so. A healthy alternative is to seek the help of a professional therapist. A therapist can help you work through your intense emotions in a safe environment.
Grieving for a loved one is a very personal experience.
Losing someone we love can be one of the most difficult things many of us will ever face. It is often accompanied by sadness, anxiety, guilt and, of course an overwhelming sense of loss. These are all normal reactions. As these feelings arise,it’s important to remember that no two people are the same; everyone handles grief in difference ways.
There is no right or wrong way to mourn the loss of a loved one, and there is no set timeline for the grieving process.
It helps to understand…
Grieving leads to healing.Whether you have experienced a loss or find yourself comforting someone who has, accepting and working through emotions are vital steps in the healing process. You may want to keep in mind these essential elements that help us cope with grief:
Time. Allow yourself, or the person you care about, the opportunity and the time to express emotions and work through the grief.
Support. A strong and caring network of family and friends or the assistance of a professional counselor or grief support group can bring comfort and security.
Physical well- being . Grief can cause physical as well as emotional stress. When someone is grieving, it’s very important to try to maintain as healthy a lifestyle as possible.
Hope . It will get better. Though it may seem that nothing will ever be right again, though time, and with emotional support and understanding, the healing process can take its natural course.
Children and grief
Give brief concrete simple explanations“Grandmas body has stopped working she can’t walk, talk, or eat any longer and she doesn’t feel any pain”
Encourage grieving with feeling talk
“It’s okay to be sad, and angry”
Avoid euphemisms be concrete.
"Grandma was very old and her body couldn't work anymore ."
Keep life normal as possible : Get up and go to bed on time, and eat meals on time, keep their schedule consistent.
Expect same questions over and over:“Remember grandma died and she won’t be back. She won’t be here for your birthday but, we’ll remember her and think about her.”
Help child remember it not their fault ” I want you to know that your grandma’s death was not your fault. None of us did anything to make that happen. “
Express your own emotions.“We’re so sad grandma isn’t with us and we miss her very much, but it’s comforting to know that she is with god now.”