Coping with the loss of someone or something you love is one of life’s biggest challenges. Often, the pain of loss can feel overwhelming. Grief is like an emotional roller coaster. You may experience difficult and unexpected emotions, from shock or anger to disbelief, guilt, and profound sadness. The pain of grief can take a toll on your physical health, making it difficult to sleep, eat, or even think straight. These are normal reactions to significant loss. But while there is no right or wrong way to grieve, there are healthy ways to cope with the pain that, in time, can ease your sadness and help you come to terms with your loss, find new meaning, and a way to move on with your life.
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 your grief will be. You may associate grieving 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, including:
- Divorce/relationship breakup
- Loss of health
- Loss of a job
- A miscarriage
- Loss of Financial stability
- Death of a pet
- Loss of a friendship
- Loss of safety after a trauma
- Selling the family home
Stage of life changes can trigger a sense of grief. For example, you might grieve after moving away from home, graduating from college, or changing jobs. Whatever your loss, it’s personal to you, so don’t feel ashamed about how you feel. If the person, animal, relationship, or situation was significant to you, it’s normal to grieve the loss you’re experiencing. Whatever the cause of your grief, though, there are healthy ways to deal with the pain and eventually come to terms with your loss.
The grieving process
Grieving is an individual experience; there’s no right or wrong way to grieve. No two people grieve the same way. How you grieve depends on your personality and coping style, your life experience, your faith, and how significant the loss was to you.
Inevitably, the grieving process takes time. Healing happens gradually; it can’t be forced or hurried—and there is no “normal” 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 happen in its own time.
Grief is a very personal journey, with some finding it more difficult than others. While grieving for the same person can often foster compassion and connection among family and friends, it’s also common for the grieving to struggle with anger, conflict, a lack of understanding, or an inability to fully share your feelings with others. Grief and bereavement counseling offers a non judgmental, safe space for you to work through any issues you are unable to with others. Grief and bereavement counseling can provide you a much-needed safe space to work through your struggles with a caring, nonjudgmental professional.
I focus on helping people feel better and learn to cope with their grieving experience. It is possible for you to learn to express and come to terms with the broad range of emotions involved in the grieving process, from those that you may expect — sadness, loneliness, exhaustion – to those that come as a surprise, such as relief, anger, and a sense of confusion. There are a variety of therapeutic approaches to best support you and I will work with you as an equal collaborator to empower and engage your healing.
If you would like to work through you grief with someone who knows how to help please contact me for a consultation today.