It is hard to talk about losing someone, although it is a reality that many of us face. Death is often overlooked or swept under the rug because it is an uncomfortable topic, but the truth is that we will all experience loss eventually. It may not even be through the death of a loved one, as deep loss can even be felt through the end of a relationship, divorce, loss of a job, or any major change in one’s life. The intense feeling of sadness after a loss is referred to as grief.
People mistakenly assume that grief can only be felt after a loved one has died. On the contrary, grief and mourning is something that one goes through after any type of loss. There are a million ways to express the sadness one feels while grieving, but there are some factors that can affect just how much you will grieve.
One of the factors to affect the intensity of your mourning is how you cope or deal with the loss. If you already have good habits and practices in place whenever you experience this extreme sadness, then you may cope better than others.
Another factor is your surroundings. There may be additional stressors that will amplify the pain and feelings of loss, such as financial troubles, etc. The last factor is how deeply invested you were in whatever or whoever it was you lost. Of course, the deeper the relationship, the deeper the pain.
What are the stages of grief?
Researchers and psychologists have come up with various ways to list down the phases of grieving. However, there are 5 stages that are common among all of them. Mourning may be different for every individual, but there are some things that bind them together.
The first thing that you will most likely experience after a loss is disbelief and shock. This is when you still haven’t fully comprehended that something or someone is lost. After disbelief, the pain of the loss will start to settle in. This is what many may note to be the actual grieving stage in which you will feel the full pain of the loss.
After experiencing disbelief and pain, this is when your feelings shift to guilt or anger. Once you have processed those emotions, the fifth and final stage is that of acceptance. This is the last stage of grieving, and this is when you will begin to view life as full of possibilities yet again.
However, it is important to note that healing is not linear. It is not uncommon to jump back and forth from the different stages before finally getting to acceptance. It might even happen that you are already at the acceptance stage and then you find yourself feeling the pain all over again.
Just remember that your grief does not have a deadline to beat. Even the other people who may be experiencing the loss may not be going through the same process as you are, and that is okay. Your grief is your own to feel, and there is no right or wrong way to do that.
Let yourself feel everything that you have to in order to accept the loss. It is when you deny your feelings and the reality that you will find it harder to let go.
What can you do to help yourself cope?
While there is no universal way to heal that works for everybody, we are here to help you figure out where you can start. Here are some ways that you can make an effort to return to your normal life:
Don’t be afraid to express your feelings.
We recommend venting all the sadness, guilt, or whatever you may be feeling. You may even do this through writing if you are not comfortable telling other people. It is important to not let your thoughts cloud your head for too long, and you should release it by talking or writing about it. You can ask a friend who will be willing to listen to you, and you have to let them know that you are not asking for advice but looking for comfort. Trust us, having people who will listen to you is often more than enough.
Read about grief and loss.
There is no doubt that experience is the best teacher, and you may learn valuable things from people who have written about their experiences with grief. You will be able to gain valuable insight into how they coped and healed through books or shows. Knowing that other people have gone through what you are going through can also bring you an immense amount of relief.
Consider joining a support group.
It can get awkward and uncomfortable to talk to people who do not fully understand what you are going through. For this, support groups are the perfect way for you to heal with people who are experiencing something similar.
Think about what coping strategies have worked for you in the past.
We recommend that you think about what ways you were able to ease your pain and cope in the past. It may be through getting into a new hobby or project, or going away on a holiday. What has worked for you in the past may still do its magic now to help you look forward to the future.
Exercise and eat healthy.
Of course, we can’t expect you to get back to a healthy life as if nothing happened, but it is important that you keep taking baby steps towards self-improvement. When you grieve, you tend to put your immune system at risk due to the sleepless nights and neglect. This is when it is most important for you to look after your physical health. Healing will go a little easier if your body is in good condition to deal with emotions.
Saying goodbye to a loved one will never be an easy thing to go through. Just remember that you are on your own personal journey to healing, and that you should never compare your progress with others. Often, you will deal with feelings of loneliness and helplessness. Just remember that you are not alone, and that you can always ask for help from loved ones or a professional.
Try to follow some of our tips above and, soon enough, you will be waking up without the weight of the loss on your shoulders.