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Allowing Yourself To Heal
What Is Grief?
Grief is the normal, natural response to loss, and is sometimes referred to as "the price we pay for loving someone". But as natural and inevitable as grief may be, it can also be the most difficult to understand. There is no standard way to experience a loss, no way to measure the pain we experience, or gauge how we will be affected each day.
It helps to know that grief is a healing process, allowing us to face the reality of the changes the death has had on our lives. As much as we want to rush past it, grief takes all the time it needs to take. Your grief experience will not be exactly the same as anyone else’s because we’re all different. No one size will fit all. There are no set rules to follow, and grief isn’t a test, a race or a competition of those that are left behind. And while frustration and even anger may occur, it is important to consider the fact that you have all experienced a loss. Just like your relationship with the person, your grief journey will be personal to you, so do it in the way that makes most sense to you and that will bring you the most comfort and allow others to do the same.
5 Stages of Grief
The article provided discusses the stages of mourning and grief, which are considered universal to individuals of all walks of life. There are five stages of normal grief that were first proposed by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her 1969 book “On Death and Dying.”
As you move through your grief you may be able to recognize some of these key stages, but understand that the experience of grief is unique as the individual and there is not specific order to your grief.
Grief In Children
Like adults, children have their own individual understanding of a loss and will often have different ways of expressing their grief depending on their relationship and developmental ability to communicate their feelings. The following articles provided by The Dougy Center have been gathered to aid in helping you understand how a child may be interpreting a loss and how you can support them through this difficult time.
Losing A Child
The loss of a child is the most devastating experience a parent can face-and missing the child never goes away. A piece of yourself is lost and your future is forever changed.
It has been said that parents who lose a child also lose the hopes, dreams, and expectations they had for that child. They lose a part of themselves. They lose their future because their child represents their sense of ongoing life. Psychologists believe, because of these reasons, the death of a child is possibly the most difficult loss of all to accept.
Losing A Spouse
The death of a spouse has far-reaching effects on the survivor. The surviving spouse must cope not only with emotional loss, but also with a sea of changes in daily routines and future plans. Widows and widowers can make a successful transition from the loss of a spouse back to a fulfilling life by accepting and addressing their emotions, taking practical steps to secure their financial and physical health, and empowering themselves for the future.
Suicide & Losing A Friend
When suicide impacts our lives, we all need to grieve and to mourn. The often sudden loss of someone can lead to a spectrum of emotions and unfortunately there may be no easy answers as to the reasoning behind the loss. Our grief journeys are never exactly the same. Despite what you may hear, you will do the work of mourning in your own unique way. Do not adopt assumptions about how long your grief should last. Just consider taking a "one-day-at-a-time" approach. Doing so allows you to mourn at your own pace and know when to reach out for help.
Losing A Parent
A loss of a parent, no matter how old you are, is a life-altering event. Even when the death is eminent, or whether your relationship was close or distant, the death often marks a milestone which transforms the very foundation on which your stand. Finding support is crucial in order to continue to move towards a place where your needs are met and you can be at peace with the loss.
How To Help Others
It’s often hard to know what to say or do when someone you care about is grieving. While you can’t take away the pain of the loss, you can provide the comfort and support they need to heal. There are many ways to help a grieving friend or family member, starting with letting the person know you care.
Coping Over The Holidays
Holidays mark the passage of time in our lives. They are part of the milestones we share with each other and they generally represent time spent with family. They bring meaning to certain days and we bring much meaning back to them. But since holidays are for being with those we love the most, how on earth can anyone be expected to cope with them when a loved one has died? The article provided is from Grief.com, which is a grief resource and support group specializing in a variety of references and help guides for those experiencing a loss.
The most beautiful people we have known are those that have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, a gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.
- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross