Helping yourself heal
The most important factor in healing from loss is having the support of other people. Even if you are not comfortable talking about your feelings, it’s important to express them when you’re grieving. Sharing your loss makes the burden of grief easier to carry. Wherever the support comes from, accept it and do not grieve alone. Connecting with others helps you heal.
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You Are Not Alone
Someone you love has just died. You are now faced with the difficult, but important, need to mourn. Mourning is the open expression of your thoughts and feelings regarding the death and the person who has just died. It is an essential part of healing. The following information provides some suggestions that may help you move toward healing in your journey of grief.
While dealing with grief, remember two important things: 1) Grief and mourning have no timeline. Your journey of grief is unique and will take as little or as much time as needed, depending on the distinct circumstances of your loss. 2) Taking breaks along the way is needed and necessary. Grief is not something you can do all at once. Experiencing so many feelings can be overwhelming. Instead, take in small doses of grief and mourning. Find yourself a haven in which you can take a break from all of the emotions. 3) Sometimes talking with someone who has already experienced grief can be very helpful. They can share with you tips on how they managed to get through the hardest moments.
Grief may never leave your side, but it will allow you to let go and venture forth on your own more and more as days, weeks, months, and years go by. Tap into your inner courage and accept the hand held out by grief.
What is grief ?
Grief is a natural response to loss. It’s the emotional suffering you feel when something or someone you love is taken away. The more significant the loss, the more intense the grief will be. You may associate grief with the death of a loved one—which is often the cause of the most intense type of grief—but any loss can cause grief.
We often think of grief as strictly emotional, but grief often involves physical problems, including fatigue, nausea, lowered immunity, weight loss or weight gain, aches and pains, and insomnia.
The grieving process
Grieving is a personal and individual experience. How you grieve depends on many factors, including your personality and your coping style, your life experience, your faith, and the nature of the loss. The grieving process takes time. Healing happens gradually; it can’t be forced or hurried—and there is no regular timetable for grieving. Some people start to feel better in weeks or months. For others, the grieving process is measured in years. Whatever your grief experience, it’s important to be patient with yourself and allow the process to naturally unfold.
As you walk with your grief, actively mourn. Cry when you need to, call a friend when you feel overwhelmed, join a grief support group, express yourself through writing, music, dance, or sports. By taking action, you will eventually integrate the death of your loved one into your life. In exchange, you will find the hope, courage, and desire to once again live a full and rewarding life.
Accepting a loss
The more significant the loss, the more intense the grief. However, even subtle losses can lead to grief. If you are experiencing any of these emotions following a loss, it may help to know that your reaction is natural and that you’ll heal in time. However, not everyone who grieves goes through all of these stages—and that’s okay. Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to go through each stage in order to heal.