What Is Grief?
Grief is the reaction to the loss of a loved one whether it be a human counterpart or beloved family pet. It is a deep sorrow felt when you lose someone or something that you love. Grief not only has emotional consequences but it can very well have physical, mental, social, and behavioral consequences. Every person grieves differently. Grief can lead to shock, denial of your loss, pain, guilt, anger, blaming others, and depression. As you adjust to your new life, you will start to work through your grief, and learn to accept and feel hope that you can live on and feel better.
Tips For Coping With Grief:
- Do not grieve alone – surround yourself with people who support you
- Be sure to take good care of yourself, be kind to yourself
- If you need to cry, cry. Make your feelings known
- Exercising can help relieve some anxiety, sadness, and stress
- If you like to write, keep a journal
- Help yourself by not doing too much or not doing things too soon after
- Have some fun; spend some time with friends and family
- Be sure you are getting the sleep you need
- Make lists for yourself so you know what you need to do each day
- Seek professional grief counseling if you are unable to deal with your grief
What is Recovery?
Losing a loved one is hard and grieving for that loved one is how you will recover. Recovery means regaining the normal life functions you had before your loss but it’s not meant to be a total closure of your loss. It makes it so you can return to your life, although you’ll never be the same without this loved one, grief recovery helps you move on with your life. Recovery helps you regain your features and abilities to live your life but you may still be a changed person.
How to Move On
Mourning the loss of a close friend or relative takes time. Someone who is grieving may find it helpful to use some of the following tips below to help them process the loss and come to terms with it:
Talk about the death of your loved one with others to help you understand what happened and remember your friend or family member. Avoidance can lead to isolation and will interrupt the healing process.
- Accept your feelings. You may experience a wide range of emotions from sadness, anger, or even exhaustion. All of these feelings are normal and it’s important to recognize when you are feeling this way. If you feel stuck or overwhelmed by these emotions, it may be helpful to talk with a licensed psychologist or another mental health professional who can help you cope with your feelings and find ways to get back on track.
- Take care of yourself and your family. Eating healthy foods, exercising, and getting plenty of sleep can help your physical and emotional health. The grieving process can take a toll on one’s body. Make sure you check in with your loved ones.
- Reach out and help others dealing with the loss. Spending time with loved ones of the deceased can help everyone cope. Whether it’s sharing stories or listening to your loved one’s favorite music, these small efforts can make a big difference to some.
- Remember and celebrate the lives of your loved ones. Anniversaries of a lost loved one can be a difficult time for friends and family, but they can also be a time for remembrance and honoring them.
The Goal of Recovery
The goal of your recovery includes learning to live with yourself without that person in your life and you should be able to adapt to your new life. These changes must occur inside yourself, and in your understanding of your life without this loved one. Your recovery means that you can blend the past with your new life and how you are living after your loss. We can never forget the ones we lose. There will be some things that trigger your sadness or your anger like a special song or specific location that brings back wonderful memories, but you will learn to live with these triggers and how to get through them.
Recovery will allow you to learn your new role in life without this loved one in it and how you can adapt to the changes around you. To recover, you must adjust your attitude so you can move forward. You can live your life with your family that is still alive and well. You can all move forward together. You need to make sure you do not close yourself off to the loved ones you have left as this will not help you or them to recover.
We may not fully recover from grief, but there are ways that we can learn to access and reprocess our grief in a way that helps us and encourages others to do the same. If you feel as though you or a loved one may be experiencing any worrying grief symptoms, maybe it’s time you spoke to a professional who can help.