Feeling Grief Is A Part Of Being Human
Humans have the unique ability of being aware of life’s mortality, yet we are still surprised when grief shocks the system.
Often when you are grieving a loved one, you find yourself taken off track, your routine destroyed and your sense of purpose put into question.
Death has a very subtle way of reminding you how finite life can be, and in doing so, forces you to focus on the here and now.
This can be both a relieving concept or a daunting one, so today let’s discuss the ways in which you can help deal with the natural emotion of grief.
Open Your Feelings To Recognising Your Grief
Recognise your feelings.
Affirm to yourself why you’re feeling upset, angry or depressed.
Understand that this is a feeling that everyone goes through, and you’re not alone in having it.
The first thing you can do is open yourself up to the feelings and emotions that are taking place in your body.
You’ll need to be kind to yourself, picturing yourself as someone who needs help, someone who needs to be cared for.
If you’re beginning to tear up, tell yourself ‘It’s okay to cry.’
Go even further, and say, ‘Tears, I welcome you.’
Understand your body is in pain and it’s your job to support it as it moves forward.
When you have a friend or family member in pain your natural instinct is to drop everything and support them.
So why not do the same for yourself?
This isn’t a selfish idea, it’s common sense.
How are you meant to serve other people when you’re not feeling great yourself?
So take this time to recognise your feelings, let them in and support yourself as you move through grief and recovery.
Listen To What The Emotions Of Grief Are Telling You
Grief can bring a large shake up to your daily routine.
You may start to second guess your daily rhythm, such as your work or social life.
Even with the food you eat, you may start to recognise what your diet habits have been for all these years, and realise you’re not happy with them.
It is very common when dealing with grief to have a suppressed appetite and reluctance towards drinking alcohol.
However, it can be the opposite for others.
How many stories have you heard of people using alcohol, food that’s bad for you or even drugs to ‘help’ them get through the loss of a family member?
Instead, use this time of grief to take note of what your impulses are telling you.
Take notes of what’s appearing. Are you prone to self destructive behaviour or does grief motivate you to make changes in your life?
Use your intuition to guide, think positively, work on accepting yourself and by referring to your notes they will be able to help you build courage as you move forward with your grief.
Join Our Facebook Group Community
The best way to deal with grief is to make sure you’re not alone. It can be difficult to reach out, it may feel scary or you may think you’re being a nuisance (when you’re not). You can check out the Before I Go End Of Life Conversations Community here, You’ll find like minded individuals who will not only help you but will help you grow into the person you’d like to be.
I have a friend who’s in a desperate state, because a year or so ago her pair of beloved pet dogs disppeared – perhaps died down a rabbit hole, but more likely stolen — and because of the uncertainty she’s unable to grieve properly, and that’s combined with tearing guilt. Any helpful thoughts would be most welcome.
It’s so confusing when we don’t know what’s happened to the person or pet who we love. One of the experiences that prompted me to train as a Grief Recovery Specialist, was a friend who went on a drunken hunt for his cat who had disappeared a year earlier. He was wracked with guilt and grief and couldn’t let go of the feeling that she must be out there somewhere. The long and short of it was that he was pulled over by the police and in his extreme anguish, punched the officer. I share this story because it demonstrates how unhinging the combination of guilt and grief and not-knowing can feel – and time doesn’t resolve that. But there are steps that we can take to move beyond the pain of loss. I can wholeheartedly recommend the Grief Recovery Method – either working with a specialist over seven weeks or using the Grief Recovery Handbook by John James and Russell Friedman and working through it with a friend. Wishing your friend healing and comfort.
Hi @Caroline, feeling uncertain and guilty over anything are two of the more complex emotions to deal with when someone or a pet has died. Very challenging.
I assume your friend is receiving good quality counselling/psychotherapy of some kind? Or speaking to someone qualified to deal with this kind of complicated grief, as it is known? Because if not I would highly recommend it. It may be that it is triggering other things from the past also, making it more challenging, and more difficult for self-forgiveness, which ultimately will be what is needed.
Grief can halt your life as you knew it and send you on a very new journey. In dealing with grief we realise what a personal journey it is and how individual both the coping and expressing ourselves can be. The specific relationship with the person/ pet who had died is central to how deeply we are affected. Some people keep their thoughts and reactions very private and others are able to express and show their upset more readily. There is no right and wrong with dealing with grief but recognising where help and support is needed is vital for some people to move forward. Linking this in with planning for the event allows necessary conversations to take place which may aid people through the process