Grief is the last act of love we have to give to those we loved. Where there is deep grief, there is great love.
First and foremost, grief is a natural reaction to any form of loss, especially someone’s death. Understand, there’s no right way to grieve — everyone reacts to loss differently and grieves in their own way. There’s also no normal duration for grief; it takes as long as it takes…it may take months or years to accept the loss of a loved one.
Grief also manifests in a range of thoughts and behaviors. Some people prefer the company of others and sharing their feelings; others prefer to mourn alone. Bereaved people may exhibit “instrumental grieving,” where they focus on solving other problems to distract from the need to express their emotions, or “intuitive grieving,” which involves communicating and sharing one’s feelings.
Grief is rough, it is also a necessary process. You can’t get away from it, grief will sit around until you are ready to give it attention. If you think this is what is happening, read about the stages.
Understand the stages and accept that your body knows what to do. Take note of where you think you might be in the process. The 5 stages are – anger, depression, denial, bargaining, acceptance and recently added finding meaning.
Grief hits us in different parts of our lives. It is change and adjusting but not only in death of a loved one.
- Loss of job
- Change in relationship
- Change in living situation
- Loss of a pet
Disenfranchised – Grief that is not acknowledged as legitimate by society. For example, it may be seen as too small or the relationship too distant to justify grieving. This could include the loss of a pet, perinatal loss, loss of a limb, elective abortion, loss of a distant relative or someone not ‘blood’ related.
Complex -Prolonged or Complicated grief is like being in an ongoing, heightened state or mourning that keeps you from healing. This could include family conflict, demanding jobs that don’t allow for enough days off and other things.
Anticipatory – Anticipatory grief refers to a feeling of grief occurring before an impending loss. Typically the impending loss is the death of someone close due to illness.
There are situations where you’re grieving physical or mental changes in a person due to medical situations, ie., cancer, dementia. If you’re the full time care giver for your loved one, you have the added difficulty of watching the day to day decline. You’re identity changes, in a way. You become whatever your loved one needs, doctor appts, hygiene, nutrition, medications, etc. While in session, we’ll talk about you and how you continue to care for yourself during this difficult time and still be able to take care of your loved one. The better you feel physically and emotionally, the better you can care for them.
Call me at any point and I will sit with you while you are figuring out the pain or validation of it all. Remember, this is a personal journey, everyone grieves differently and in their own time. It ends when it does, there is no way to tell when that will happen. Allow yourself the space and time to be in it and take your time to get on the other side of it.