Here are a few things you need to know about grief to help you navigate through to the other side.
- Grief arises in surprising situations. You might feel it when you lose a job or your marriage. You can also feel grief when you lose the ability to do something you love. Even losing your daily routine can cause grief. Any change or transition in life can cause grief.
- You might have physical symptoms. Grief isn’t only emotional. You may experience changes in appetite and sleep patterns. You might feel like your brain is all fogged over.
- Everyone has a different time line for grieving. It is okay for your grieving to be as unique as you are.
- You may even grieve before the loss. When you know that it’s coming you may feel the pain of grief before the actual event occurs.
- Other people may have unexpected reactions to your grief. Maybe people who have always been there disappear, say hurtful things, or don’t seem to understand. You don’t need to live up to anyone else’s expectations of how you should be grieving. Save your energy for your own healing.
- Rituals and symbolic actions matter. Rituals help us move into the next phase of our lives. They make the transition. They help us say good-by. Create your own traditions, observe family or religious, or both.
- Triggers may set you off long after your loss. Just when you thought you were healed, something — a song, a movie, even a smell — can bring you back to the early days of your grief journey. It’s natural.
- The right support is crucial. A friend who just listens without judging or giving advise. Maybe a member of the clergy. I strongly suggest a therapist. Grief counseling can make a huge difference. It’s not a sign of weakness to ask for help.
- You will feel happy again. Eventually you’ll be able to accept your loss and that things will never be the same. Life isn’t going to be the same, but it can be good again. It takes some time.