Grief is unique to the individual. We all grieve differently and for this reason there is no set pattern to follow. It is my belief that grief and pain remain with us; however we can learn to live with these feelings successfully, doing so without diminishing the value of the causation of grief. We often think of grief and loss as referring to the death of a loved one, however grief also relates to aspects of our lives such as a broken relationship, loss of employment, relocation and the loss of a pet to name a few. Grief is a unique process, but there are steps that can be taken to help you journey through your grief in the healthiest way possible.
1. Be kind to yourself
Often in grief, we take the responsibility or blame ourselves for the loss. Whether there is any truth in this or not, when we work through our grief we need to be gentle on ourselves as we are more likely to remain unable to work through our emotions if we beat ourselves up. By allowing ourselves to be empathetic to our situation, we allow ourselves to work through this intense pain.
2. Be Honest
It is not unusual in grief to only focus on the positive memories and ignore the painful and negative ones. Having worked in the funeral industry for 9 years, I observed a number of families who chose not to acknowledge the pain and hurt that had been caused as a result of the family relationship, and they would only focus on the happy memories.
The happy memories are certainly significant, but the memory of the loved family member is likely to involve the not so good times as well. By reflecting honestly on the good and the bad memories, we pay tribute to the one we loved and our relationship with them. In order to do this, you may need to give yourself permission to reflect on the challenging times as well as the rewarding.
3. Don’t be afraid to talk about and remember the cause of your loss
Whether your grief is due to the loss of a loved one or another change in circumstance, talking and remembering them is very therapeutic and plays an important role in respecting the memories and paying tribute to the past. In my experience, people will often refuse to talk about and reflect upon the life of a loved one or a past event, often because of the fear of it being so painful. It is only as we allow ourselves to be honest and to meet the challenge of the expected pain that we can learn to live again while paying tribute, respect and value to our loved ones and history.
4. Seek professional support
As mentioned before, there is no perfect process for dealing with grief as each person experiences the emotion in their own unique way. What remains important is to be honest, respectful and to value the past for what it has made you- into the person you are today.
Seeking professional support to help you in your grief and loss will enable you to walk a path of a full range of emotions. You will cry at the pain of loss, and smile at the good memories you have within you. You will learn to live with the pain and more importantly, to treasure the memories and love that you shared.
If you are experiencing grief and loss and need support as you work through these emotions, then here’s what you need to do: contact Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how Watersedgecounselling can best help you or press book now to book on our online diary.