Grief – Deep sorrow, the natural response to a loss. The emotional suffering you feel when something or someone you love is taken away. Many people associate grief with the death of a loved one, however any loss can cause grief. From the loss of friendships, relationships, pets, health, jobs to dreams or even selling the family home. One thing that I have learned about grief, is that each person experiences and handles it differently.
Grief can hit you in the most unexpected ways. There can be times when you think you are making progress, things seem to be looking up, and a song comes on the radio or you see something that reminds you of your loss and you are taken back to the pain. This recently happened to me and it was like getting hit with a wall of emotions. Everything changed in an instant, my mindset and how my body was feeling. It was the first time I realized what I was experiencing. As much as I tried to shift my mindset and stay busy, those feelings hung back there waiting for my mind to quiet down. Waiting for me to sit in them and sort through them. I think that is one of the hardest things, not brushing your feelings under the rug, but trying to navigate through them.
There are different stages of grief. A simple search online shows the original five stages that have now been amended to seven. The original five stages are highlight below.
Denial – This often come across as – “This can’t be happening to me.” Denial can also consist of not acknowledging your feelings, saying you are fine when you really aren’t.
Anger – If you have experienced any kind of loss, you more than likely have been angry, even if it was only for a short time. I have hit it. I have been angry, unable to understand, asking God questions that only He knows the answers too.
Bargaining – This one is just like it reads. When you are trying to make deals, this can often be with God or others depending on your situation.
Depression – This is the grief or sadness that hits you, sometimes out of no where.
Acceptance – When you come to peace with what has happened.
As I stated earlier, everyone grieves differently, some may go through all of these phases and some may not. Some may go in this exact order and some may jump around. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. You and you alone are entitled to your feelings. Do not let anyone else tell you how you should be feeling and don’t try to tell yourself how you should be feeling, remember there is not right or wrong way.
These are some things that I do to help with the grieving process; acknowledge and sit in your feelings. Feel the pain and know that things will get better. I also journal to help with this process. Pick up a new hobby or activity that brings you joy. Talk to someone, a support group or a counselor. Know that there is no quick fix, it takes time to heal. Know that you are not alone.
Sometimes it is hard to console people who are grieving. Sometimes no words are needed. Just having the mere presence that someone is there for you is enough for some people. If you know someone who is grieving or who is going through a hard time, don’t be afraid to reach out. We could all use a little more love in the world.