Ideas On How To Address Grief.
Grief is an extremely personal response. No grief response will be the same and may be different every time an individual experiences grief. The type and level of grief someone experiences is unique and very dependent on the relationship the person had with the deceased. There is no wrong way to grieve, however there may be some unhealthy habits that may developed if the individual is not properly able to process their grief.
The Grieving process is a long winding path that has its ups and downs. You will face many obstacles. This path is challenging, time consuming but will provide you with personal, social and spiritual growth opportunities. Grieving is a natural part of the human experience. Anyone attached to another person will mourn the loss and miss that relationship.
Healing from the loss of a loved one requires understanding of the grief process and giving yourself permission to feel the way you do.
Accepting the loss of your loved one is the first step.
To start the healing process you must emotionally and intellectually accept the loss of your loved one. You must give yourself time to experience the shock, but must eventually move beyond it to allow yourself to heal. This process will take time and you must not try to rush things. Understanding what has happened, accepting it, talking about it is the first step to getting back to feeling “normal”.
Acknowledge your feelings and give yourself permission to feel them.
Not everyone is comfortable with allowing their feelings to come to the surface. It is important you acknowledge to yourself you have feelings and that you must eventually deal with them. It is helpful to identify them and express them in whatever way feels normal to you. There is no wrong way to do this.
Share your feelings in a group setting where you can get support from like minded individuals.
Share your feelings with close family or friends in a one on one manner if you prefer more private settings or need more one on one support.
Creating the New Normal
Adjust and learn to live without the physical presence of your loved one. This means reorganizing your life. This may be very difficult to do because it is very likely you use to plan your day around your loved one and their needs. Whenever you find yourself thinking about your loved one, acknowledge the loss, make a prayer for them and honor them by living your life to the fullest. You will find family celebrations, birthdays, holidays to be specifically difficult as you notice the absence of your loved one.
Learning to move forward allows for personal growth, spiritual growth, and honors your loved one.
Moving forward does not mean forget. It is focus on living life to its fullest and being grateful for all you have, and having a capacity for joy when thinking of your loved one. It means being able to think about the future in a positive light.
You are not alone in this journey. There are resources available. If your loved one was on hospice, reach out to your hospice company and ask for help with bereavement. They are available to you for 1 year to help you navigate this process.
Fostering health habits can be difficult. Here are some ideas:
- Are you eating 3 healthy meals a day?
- Have you joined a support group?
- Are you finding time to relax at least once a day?
- Are you exercising 3 times a week?
- Are you getting 8 hours of sleep every night?
- Are you abusing yourself?
- Are you taking your medications?
- Have you forgiven yourself?
- Are you journaling?
- Have you tried picking up something new?
- Have you tried calling your friends especially those you haven’t connected in a while?
- Have you tried reading something new?
- Have you tried finding a new way to relax?
- Have you tried gardening?
- Have you tried picking up a new hobby?
- Have you tried spending more time at your place of worship?
- Have you gone out for a movie?
- Have you tried going to a museum?
- Have you thought about getting a pet?
- Have you thought about volunteering?
- Have you considered attending a concert?
- Have you asked for help from your family or friends?
- Have you reached out for professional help if you need it?
- Have you laughed?
- Have you thought about getting a massage?
- Have you tried going back to school or taking an adult educational class at a local college?
- Have you looked through old photographs?
- Have you shared your memories with others?
- Have you reconnected with family and spent time with them?
- Have you tried writing letters to loved ones?
- Have you started socializing?
- Have you thought of joining local organizations?
- Have you tried making new friends?
- Have you tried meditating or praying?
- Have you tried taking nature walks or going to local parks?
- Have you tried competing at something (tennis, bowling, board game, etc.)?
- Have you tried joining a gym?
- Have you tried crossword puzzles?
- Have you tried sitting in the sun and read (grab some sunscreen)?
- Have you tried returning to an old hobby?
- Have you tried picking up a new craft?
- Have you tried attending a local sporting event?
- Have you tried crying? Look at old photos, talk to someone about your loss, watch a good movie.
- Have you tried watching something funny?
- Have you tried playing with children or a baby?
- Have you said NO to those things you don’t want to do?
- Have you asked for help if you need it?