Coping with grief is challenging. Many of us have recent experiences of loss, death, and disruption in our lives that have been difficult to process emotionally. The pain of loss can be profound, and our grief may seem overwhelming and isolating.
Grief is part of our shared human experience. Learning to navigate our grief and the sharp edges of pain in our mourning can be a transformative time in our lives.
If you are coping with grief, here are three caring reminders to help during this tender time:
1. Acknowledge Your Grief
First of all, acknowledge your grief. Allow yourself the time and space to grieve and experience the pain of your loss.
Keep in mind that loss is not just the physical death of a loved one. Loss can be a change or disruption in your life, such as a divorce, unemployment, loss of economic stability, or the diagnosis of a serious medical condition.
Regardless of the type of loss, your life has changed and is altered. Some losses we feel more acutely and some losses are layered. For example, the sudden death of a spouse could also mean the loss of economic stability.
Grief reflects the significance of the loss, acknowledging the sadness and pain that you’re experiencing. It’s also a way of caring for yourself—of validating your authentic emotions and your legitimate need for support at this time.
Not grieving or suppressing your pain can be a way of diminishing your needs and invalidating yourself at a time when you most need compassion and understanding.
2. Remember that Grief is Fluid
Grief is fluid; it’s not a step-by-step linear process that we successfully complete. We can move in and out of grief, with different intensity, as we mourn a loss. It’s important to remember that there is no set timeframe for the grieving process. We may find ourselves experiencing moments of profound grief even years after the initial loss.
Though how we grieve may be influenced by our families and cultures, it’s an individual process. Be careful not to place expectations on your behavior. If you find yourself saying, “I should be over this by now” or “I’m being too emotional,” you may be judging yourself and your grief experience.
Trying to force yourself to “get back to normal” is often elusive because your life has forever changed with the loss. Accepting and adjusting to your new reality are aspects of your grieving process.
The pain of loss will change and fade over time, but grief becomes part of the tapestry of our lives.
3. Seek Support
Coping with the intense emotions of grief can be difficult, and our pain may leave us feeling alone, and unsure how to make sense of life and our new reality.
But remember that grief is something we all share, and give yourself permission to seek the help that you need. Asking for support while we are grieving is an important step in healing and integrating the loss into our lives. Support often comes from family, friends, and our churches.
At times though, we may need extra help in exploring the depth of our feelings and moving forward with our lives. Grief can trigger many different emotions or issues, such as…
- Alcohol and drug use
- Sleep disturbances
Are you struggling with coping with grief? Professional therapy, whether individual counseling or group support, can be beneficial if you’re feeling like you need help.
If your grieving feels too intense, you seem stuck or hopeless—or if you just want a safe and neutral place to explore the impact of loss and grief in your life—please contact us.
We can help you navigate your journey through grief and loss.