Grief is not a disorder, a disease or a sign of weakness. It is an emotional physical and spiritual necessity.
Remember always, you grieve because you have loved.
The only cure for grief is to grieve. We grieve when we lose someone that is important to us. The reality is you will not get over the loss of a loved one but you will learn to live with it.
You will heal and rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same again.
Grief and loss affects us in ways that are emotional, physical, social, cognitive, financial, and spiritual.
1. Self-care is most important when grieving a major loss as grief and loss can be very physical. Eat small but frequent meals and try to take some daily gentle exercise.
2. Be patient and gentle with yourself. Your energy may be low so do not place too many demands on yourself.
3. Accept that your life may feel unreal for a while. The intensity of your feelings may be overwhelming but all your feelings are normal.
4. Tears are healing so don’t be too brave or afraid to cry.
5. Struggle with the “Why” it happened until you no longer need to know “Why,” or until you are satisfied with partial answers. Wear out your questions until you can let them go. Letting go doesn’t mean forgetting.
6. Keep life as simple as possible. Don’t rush things. You are trying to come to terms with a major upheaval in your life. Try not to make major or rash decisions while you grieve.
7. Give yourself permission to set grieving aside for a while.It’s ok to laugh, work and relax when you can to recharge your batteries.
8. Recognise the extent of your loss.
9. Try to find some meaning in your loss. Invest in some meaningful activity to honour your loved one.
10. Accept emotional and practical support from friends and family who are willing to listen and who you trust.
11. Sometimes, talking to someone outside the family can be beneficial. Talking is important because it helps you express what you are feeling.
12. Call on your personal faith to get you through and create rituals that represent the unique relationship you had or a ritual to let go.
13. Allow yourself to cope and to grieve in a way that suits you.
14. Talking with a counselor can offer hope and support through your grieving.
My professional training taught me that grief is a series of stages to work through. However, through my own grief and by working with so many who mourn, I came to understand that grief is on ongoing narrative of love, and not an emotional finish line to be crossed.
Death ends a life not a relationship. The truth is we are forever connected in a deep way to those we love, but it is possible to remember them with love rather than with pain.
We need to find new ways to remain connected and sometimes we continue the connection out of the fabric of our daily lives. It is also possible to reconnect with life and find meaning and joy after bereavement.