“We should feel sorrow, but not sink under its oppression”. – Confucius
One time or the other, we would have lost a loved one; a friend, family member or an acquaintance. For most, the experience is unbearable and difficult to fathom. The grief from the death of someone deeply loved cannot be mastered or conquered. You can only learn to live with your great loss; there will be healing and health and yes, perhaps even joy again. But, there can never be full “recovery” or a return to an untroubled past as no one can completely erase the past. Nonetheless, grief doesn’t just happen after someone dies. Any traumatic event, major life change, or significant loss — a rape, a divorce, even major financial losses — can cause grief. Throughout the grieving process, you may find yourself feeling:
- Disbelief or in denial
As the years go by, life has a way of dealing it’s pain and challenges to everyone without exception. And this is even true for the longer you live, the greater your chances of being hit by a major grief. And there is no easy way out or quick fix for it: as they say, “time is the healer of wounds”. Such is life.
just as we are different, so do we have different methods of coping with our griefs. Some may be tempted to lessen the impact of this tragedy on their lives by numbing their mind with alcohol or drugs, or escape from it by reading or watching TV incessantly. But it is an important part of eventual grief resolution that you experience and express grief fully, especially in the beginning.
Grieving is a healthy response to tragedy, loss, and sadness, and it’s important to allow yourself time to process your loss.
Here are some truly helpful and practical grief survival coping guides. Some of these ideas and strategies come from other survivors of grief and they work!
1. Coping With Grief: Accepting it – As a rule, don’t live in denial. Sally R. Connolly, a social worker and therapist with more than 30 years of practice in dealing with grief and other traumatic events advises, “Don’t try to run away from it; rather, face it head on… Acknowledge that something traumatic has happened and that it has had a profound effect on you”. Give yourself time to grieve, but seek help when you need it.
2. Coping With Grief: Finding Help – You may want some time alone to process your thoughts and struggle with your grief, but it’s important to recognize when you need help from others. “You might need more help if you find that, after some time, you are not able to get back to normal activities, you have trouble sleeping or eating, or have thoughts and feelings that interfere with everyday life,” says Connolly. A grief counselor or other therapist may be able to help you cope with grief, and finally start to move past it. Getting your grief out in the open is an important first step. “Talk about it with someone — a friend, family, a support group. Support groups can be wonderful,” Connolly says. There, you can relate to other people who understand your situation, and you can get advice on what helped them through their grief. Of course, expressing your emotions doesn’t have to be done out loud. “Write about it,” suggests Connolly. Rather than allowing thoughts to swirl in your head, put them down on paper. This is a great way of getting out your feelings if you are shy or embarrassed about sharing them with another person.
3. Coping With Grief: Getting Closure – Closure is also an important part of coping with grief and may help you move through the grieving process. “Depending on the event, developing a ritual to say farewell may be helpful. We have funerals when someone dies and they are a healthy step on the road to acceptance. Rituals can be helpful for other traumas as well,” Connolly says.
4. Coping With Grief: When Will I Feel Better?- There is no set timeline for grieving. And unfortunately, you may never completely get over your loss. But your loss shouldn’t keep you from enjoying life, even with occasional periods of sadness. “Let yourself grieve as long as you need to. You do have to resume normal life, but know that it’s going to take a while,” says Connolly. Look for small signs that you’re coping with grief and getting past it. “Happy times signal that you’re progressing,” she says. When you realize that you aren’t always dwelling on the sadness or don’t think about it as frequently as you once did, that means that you’re finally moving on — at your own pace. Your mind and body need time to grieve after a traumatic event. If you deprive yourself of the grieving process, you may find that you have more difficulty accepting what has happened or that unresolved feelings and issues may flare up later on. Allow yourself to feel sad and even selfish; eventually you’ll find yourself feeling better a little bit at a time. Even though part of you may always feel sad about your loss, you’ll find yourself happy and laughing again one day.
5. Coping With Grief: Spiritual Help – in matters of grief, you cannot help but acknowledge the importance of God. He is the all-knowing and Wisest of the wisest; He knows why you’ve to pass through moments of grief. Therefore in moments of grief when it seems like you’re alone and nobody understands, remember that God is the most sufficient comforter and is always with you, even in grief.